Catholic Church Extends Mercy on Mentally Ill Man Who Desecrated Church
07/09/2022 Malaysia (International Christian Concern) – A Malaysian Cathedral of the Keningau diocese has reported an incident of vandalism during its worship service.
At around 7:30 AM, a 34-year-old man entered St. Francis Xavier Cathedral located in the Sabah state of Malaysia and proceeded to damage a statue of Mary and parts of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
As parish members and local police came together to collect evidence and file a report, the man’s mother came and reported that her son is mentally ill. She then allowed the police to detain her son.
Despite the damage caused, the diocese has decided not to replace the objects, stating that the incident encourages personal reflection on one’s own brokenness and “need to be healed by God’s presence.”
Mercy upon the man was verbally extended by the parish’s administrator, Nancy Jones, who calls for prayer so that the perpetrator’s family is not further burdened. In addition, Bishop Cornelius Piong of the Keningau diocese has publicly declared that “as Christians, we need to forgive, there is no need to condemn the perpetrator.”
The church will conduct a special Mass service on July 14 to ask for God’s forgiveness, reasoning that such events happen because of the church’s own negligence.
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