One of the stenciled messages spray-painted outside of a local church in Wilmington (Photo Credit: WBZ-TV)
Police are searching for answers after three churches in Wilmington, Mass., were vandalized over the weekend. Clearly taking aim at the religious beliefs being touted by the houses of worship, those responsible used a stencil to spray-paint the words "brainwashed" on the churches' outside walls, doors and stairs.
Some of the spray-painting also featured television sets with the image of a brain inside of them. At least one statue was also covered in stripes of red paint. A priest at one of the churches first discovered the graffiti early on Saturday morning, alerting authorities to its presence. It is estimated that the attacks unfolded sometime between 12 a.m. and 3 a.m. on Saturday morning.
According to WBZ-TV, two Catholic churches, St. Thomas of Villanova and St. Dorothy's, were targeted in the attacks, as well as a local Congregational church (called the Congregational Church). Fr. Phillip Early, a priest at the two Catholic parishes, spoke out in the wake of the attacks, expressing frustration over the methods those responsible used to voice their angst.
"It angers in the sense that they took that approach to our faith community," said the faith leader. "But it achieves nothing, so in that sense I feel bad that’s the only method they had."
Early seemed more interested in having dialogue with those who have grievances with the church community, calling the actions taken "a waste."
"If someone has an issue with religion or the faith community, they should verbalize and stand up," he continued. "Just doing this accomplishes nothing other than wasting the church's cleaning resources."
Congregants and local authorities are outraged and frustrated by the event, with state Rep. Jim Miceli calling for the criminals behind the attack to be punished.
"It's disgraceful. It takes a sick mind to do something like this," he said. "I hope they will catch the people who did it."
Now, the churches are in the process of cleaning up and moving on from the incident, a challenge considering that there are still many questions unanswered.
(H/T: Lowell Sun)