The hearts of a New York congregation are heavy after a thief stole a statue of Jesus from their church.
The statue of the “Sacred Heart of Jesus,” made of white porcelain, sat on a pedestal outside the rectory of Saints Peter and Paul Church in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, for more than a decade, CBS News reported.
Now, the 1,500-person congregation is upset after someone ripped the statue from its base in the middle of the night just days before Christmas.
“It’s a sign of the presence of God among his people. The Sacred Heart of Jesus is one of the most famous expressions of religious devotion in our Catholic world,” Rev. Manuel de Jesus Rodriguez said.
The statue is nearly 4 feet high, the station reports, and quite heavy, but surveillance footage caught a lone thief carrying it. And while the statue is meaningful, it is not worth a lot of money.
“It’s a shame. It’s one damn shame,” said Louise Gergel of the theft.
“They don’t have no heart at all because to do that is a sin,” Myrna Troche added.
According to CBS, one of the NYPD’s Hate Crimes units is investigating, but has yet to rule it an actual hate crime. There was no word on if or when the church will replace the statue.