On Saturday afternoon of the 29th March 2014 there were four churches of Vienna which suffered severe, religiously motivated criminal damage, especially statues of saints and sacred objects. Alleged perpetrators: an asylum seeker from Ghana.
Systematic property damage
- the statue of St. Jude Thaddeus was pushed from its by its marble base, in Vienna's St. Stephen's Cathedral,
- in the parish church Breitenfeld four statues was overturned and the lid of the baptismal font destroyed,
- in the Lazaristenkirche of Vienna in the fingers of a stone statue of Saint Vincent had its fingers chopped off, all (!) statues in the church damaged or destroyed, the "wooden body a crucifix" (ie Christ) was torn down and demolished while his arms were chopped off,
- in the parish church Neuottakring there was property damage.
- The "Kronenzeitung newspaper" reports of possibly three other acts of vandalism at churches in the district of Meidling.
Ibrahim A. - religiously motivated offenders
In a press release from the Police Headquarters in Vienna from 30March 2014 they describe damage to property in St. Stephen's Cathedral: "On 29.03.2014 at 17:15 hours an unidentified man threw a statue of the saint in the church of St. Stephen from its marble base. A moment later the man wanted to leave the church. Many passers-by forced the 37-year-old Ibrahim A. to the ground in front of the cathedral shop and held him until the police arrived. The accused described religious reasons as his motive. He was arrested."
The Vienna Cathedral Parish Priest Fr. Anton Faber supposed that the offender Ibrahim A. had "been a madman [I], who was playing religious themed music prior to the incident on his iPod." In addition, the offender Ibrahim had suffered a "psychotic episode" and been seized by an "internal disturbance".
Ibrahim A. was prevented from the destruction of the Sacred Heart image.
In the course of detention by those present, Ibrahim A. had also injured a person slightly.
Offender set free - warned by police against renewed arrest
The spokesman for the Vienna State Police, Roman Hahslinger, although the presumption was obvious that the perpetrator was a serial offender, he was not arrested apparently.
Rather, the police didn't question Ibrahim A. at the time. Not until this week will he be asked about the other crime scenes. - Thus, if he can be found again the police have pre-announced his timely arrest.
Oddly enough the police did not consider the grounds for detention (such as the danger of recidivism).
Ibrahim A. - an asylum seeker from Ghana
In media reports, the origin and status of the (alleged) church vandal is mostly concealed.
He is the 37-year old Ibrahim A., an asylum seeker from Ghana, who is housed in the care center in Lower Austria Traiskirchen.
How fortunate that he was able to save, despite the assuredly alleged persecution in Ghana, his iPod from his African tormentors. Otherwise he would not have gotten the "inspiration", to "proceed against religious statues."
The fact that he referred to the Catholic faithful as "puppets", fits well into the picture.
Whitewashing by the Archdiocese of Vienna and the Catholic Press Agency (kathpress)
Characteristically, the Archdiocese of Vienna and Catholic press was silent on their websites about the origin of the offender and the Cathedral Parish Priest Fr. Faber himself and the release of the police referred to the religious motivation of the Ghanaian asylum.
The other assessments of the offender by Father ("seized by an inner disturbance" or "psychotic episode") Faber, however, were cited.
In the OTS- broadcast, the Catholic press (on the following day at 14:02 clock) is rather pointed out that "the uncharacteristic act of vandalism for the otherwise peaceful life of religions in Vienna" and that "also no one was [would be] harmed."
Why is there silence about the Muslim religious devotion of the (alleged) perpetrator?
For legal reasons, the presumption of innocence for the asylum seeker from Ghana, Ibrahim A. applies. [Naturally!]
Trans: Tancred firstname.lastname@example.org