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St Antony’s Church in Bangalore Vandalized

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Bangalore, Nov 8 (Daijiworld): Within a month of the attack on the St Francis De Sales church at Hebbagodi in the outskirts of Banglaore, yet another church in the city – St Antony’s Church at Kavailbyrasandra – has been vandalized by unidentified miscreants. The miscreants had probably broken open the doors of the newly built church past midnight. The main door was forcibly opened and the miscreants had obviously tried to steal the gold-plated chalice and two ciboriums kept in the tabernacle and also in the sacristy for keeping the blessed sacrament. The tabernacle is broken open and the communion is thrown out and sprinkled all over. Two pix kept in the tabernacle and sacristies have been stolen. The miscreants had also broken open the dumb boxes kept inside the church to steal money. Bangalore Archbishop Bernard Moras, who had inaugurated the newly built church on September 11 this year, visited the church early this morning and had also contacted the state home minister Dr V S Acharya, camping in Delhi in connection with the ongoing political crisis in the ruling BJP in the state. The police have already visited the place and are carrying out investigation. “The motive of the miscreants was obviously theft. The dumb boxes have been broken open. The gold-plated ciborium and chalice and other sacramental things were stolen. The Blessed Sacrament has been strewn all over the sacristy,’’ the Archbishop told Daijiworld. "Though the monetary loss in the theft may not be much, the desecration of the Blessed Sacrament is a serious matter,’’ the Archbishop said pointing out that he was saddened at the sacrilege and also the damages to the church doors. ``They must have stolen the chalice and ciborium under the impression that they must be of gold. True, they are valuable to us more than gold. But what money can the thieves earn if they sell. We must pray to God so that the miscreants do not continue such acts of vandalism,’’ he said. It may be recalled that the Bajrang Dal and Sri Ram Sene activists had attacked churches and other places of worship in Mangalore, Udupi, Chikmagalur and other places including Bangalore during September-October last year. The state government had instituted a judicial inquiry under Justice B K Somashekar besides ordering COD probe into the incident. An investigation by the rechristened CID wing had been ordered by the government following the recent attack against the Hebbagodi church. With the chief minister B S Yeddyurappa and home minister as well as most of the BJP ministers camping in Delhi trying to resolve the dissident crisis, speculation is rife on whether the vandalism could be an act of the pro-Hindutva elements or forces inimical to the ruling establishment. The possibility of some local Congressmen trying to create problems for the ruling BJP government cannot be ruled out, according to sources familiar with such activities.

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