|USA||NEW YORK POLICE INVESTIGATE CHURCH VANDALISM|
New York police are investigating a wave of vandalism in Brooklyn Catholic churches and institutions.
The details of the attacks are always the same - a statue, usually of the Blessed Virgin, is found with its head and hands lopped off or otherwise damaged. So far, 11 such incidents have been reported.
The New York Police Department's Bias Unit is offering a $A65,000 reward for infomation concerning the case. The money was pulled together from the city and private sources, including the Anti-Defamation League and the Knights of Columbus.
"It certainly is an attack on the Catholic religion," said Deputy Inspector Barbara Sicilia. "It's all religious statues of some sort. Whether it's Christ, the Blessed Mother, or Pope Pius, it's anti-religion in nature."
Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is running for the U.S. Senate in New York, suggested that the U.S. government should get involved. She called for Congress to pass legislation providing more resources for federal prosecutors and for the National Church Arson Task Force to investigate.
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