N.J. church statue destroyer called a 'devout Christian' | State | NewJerseyNewsroom.com -- Your State. Your News.


Jun 01st
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N.J. church statue destroyer called a 'devout Christian'

cross042111_optBY ALICIA CRUZ

On Wednesday, police arrested a 41-year-old South Jersey man whose Facebook page describes him as a "born-again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ" since childhood, in connection with a path of destructive “smash and dash” incidents at Catholic Churches throughout Burlington and Camden.

According to the CourierPostOnline, Curtis Condell, of Magnolia, is charged with 30 counts of criminal mischief and nine counts of bias intimidation. Police say the man destroyed more than 20 religious statues using an object, perhaps a baseball bat, as he made his way to several area churches. His acts of vandalism occurred at Catholic churches in Cherry Hill, Marlton, and Mount Laurel during the month of July.

Condell allegedly broke into St. Thomas More Church in Cherry Hill twice where he broke an eight-foot Italian marble statue of the Virgin Mary in three pieces. During his second visit to the Springdale Road church days later, he trashed more statues. Police say at least three other churches suffered similar acts of vandalism and destruction within the same week beginning with the Queen of Heaven Church in Cherry Hill.

There, Condell purportedly beheaded a statue of Mary and the infant Jesus. Shortly thereafter, another Virgin Mary statue was broken at Holy Eucharist Catholic Church on Kresson Road in Cherry Hill. Staff at the Catholic Church of St. Mary, also on Springdale Road in Cherry Hill, found a statue of the Virgin Mary with its hands missing. In Marlton, St. Joan of Arc Church on Willowbend Road had two statues defaced. The wreckage continued and increased in Burlington County, where 33 statues in a grotto were damaged at St. John Neumann Church on Walton Avenue, Philly.com reported.

Comments (4)
4 Thursday, 20 October 2011 21:20
Because it is vandalism. He is a modern day iconoclast, and obviously dislikes Catholicism's idol worship. Face it, the Roman Catholic Church's love for statutes makes the Greek and Roman customs seem tame. The "statue" of the Virgin Mary is venerated as if "she" is real. What I think - Smash away!!
3 Sunday, 11 September 2011 08:53
Like Saul of Tarsus, Condell thinks he is honoring God by carrying out a violent campaign against people whose religious practices offend him. I hope that, in a similar manner, he receives a word from the Lord: "Saul, Saul! Why are you persecuting Me?" When he realizes how wrong-headed he has been, and how he has offended God, he will be broken-hearted: and the Lord (and the Lord's people) will always have mercy on a broken and repentant heart.
2 Saturday, 10 September 2011 15:35
He is a modern day iconoclast on par with Mohammedans.
1 Saturday, 10 September 2011 10:50
If damage like this was done to a synagogue or a mosque it would be considered a hate crime and would have made front pages nationally. Why is it when Catholic statues are defaced it’s simply “vandalism”?

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