$2M gold tabernacle stolen from Brooklyn church - The Washington submit

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A tabernacle worth $2 million changed into stolen from a Catholic church in Brooklyn, manhattan metropolis police referred to Monday, in what church officials described as a "brazen crime of disrespect and hate."

The bejeweled tabernacle — a container that homes the Eucharist used within the rite of Communion — is "irreplaceable as a result of its old and inventive value," the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn referred to in an announcement.

The heist at St. Augustine Roman Catholic Church in Brooklyn's Park Slope regional become found on Saturday by means of Father Frank Tumino, a pastor there, who talked about within the remark that the tabernacle became the "principal focus of our church backyard of worship."

Tumino had been on his manner to listen to confessions at a parish up the highway when he handed with the aid of St. Augustine and noticed that one of the crucial doorways was ajar, based on the pill, a book with the aid of the diocese.

When he entered the church, he got here across the destruction, discovering the Eucharist — often unleavened bread or wafers — strewn concerning the altar. The sight made him feel unwell, he talked about, adding in the observation that the Eucharist within the tabernacle had been used in Communion for the sick and homebound.

Church officers noted the burglary happened Friday, whereas police gave a much broader window, asserting it befell between 6:30 p.m. Thursday and 4 p.m. Saturday. there were no witnesses, and surveillance footage became not available, ny metropolis police spoke of in an e-mail. Tumino said that while the church has safety cameras in its indoors and exterior, parts of the surveillance device had been also taken right through the burglary.

A metallic casing on the altar become "forcefully reduce open" with a power saw, police noted, permitting the tabernacle to be snatched. Statues of angels on both side of the tabernacle have been "decapitated and destroyed," as smartly, the diocese spoke of. An empty safe become also reduce open.

Police had no leads on competencies suspects as of Monday night and asked anybody with counsel about the burglary to contact the branch's crime unit. Tumino speculated that numerous individuals have been concerned within the heist, in view that the sizeable weight of the tabernacle.

although police said the tabernacle turned into strong gold, Father Robert Whelan spoke of in a 2013 program about the church that it turned into strong silver covered in 18-karat gold.

The tabernacle turned into accomplished in 1895, Whelan said, a few years after the hole of the church, which the long island instances described in 1892 as "Brooklyn's top-quality." St. Augustine — and internal, the tabernacle — narrowly averted being hit by using a plane that crashed in Park Slope in 1960, killing dozens. "The jet plummeted to the earth, missing by best a couple of toes the towering steeple" of the church, an article within the Catholic standard and times stated at the time.

The jewels affixed to the tabernacle were donated by way of parishioners, Whelan said, who had been asked at the time to carry their rings for its use. Diamonds and different jewels from engagement and marriage ceremony rings had been used to embellish the constitution.

Whelan said within the application that it was "probably probably the most elaborate tabernacle within the nation."

Jaclyn Peiser contributed to this report.


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