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Anti-Catholic note left near Mary statue smashed outside East Side church

Someone smashed a statue of Mary outside an East Side Catholic church on Tuesday, and left an anti-Catholic note beside the pieces of the statue, according to a Buffalo police report.

"This building will be destroyed," the handwritten note began. "Stop worshiping Mary. Worship God. Catholics are a man-made religion."

The Rev. Michael H. Burzynski, parish administrator at St. John Kanty, read the part of the note over the phone during an interview with a Buffalo News reporter.

"I think it's neurotic," Burzynski said of the note. "It's a misinterpretation of religion."

A copy of the letter that the Rev. Mike Burzynski found with the statue of Mary after it was vandalized overnight. (John Hickey/Buffalo News)

A 911 call to police at about 11 p.m. Tuesday reported the damage to the statue at the church on Broadway.

The statue, made of resin and almost 5 feet tall, stood in an outdoor garden known as the "Mary Garden." It was pulled down off a marble foundation and taken into the adjacent parking lot, where a baseball bat was used to smash the face and hands of the statue, according to a church trustee.

In a post on Facebook, Buffalo police said church officials indicated they suspect a male around 15 or 16 years old was the culprit. Buffalo police spokesman Michael J. DeGeorge said no arrest has been made.

Church officials have not yet determined the estimated damage to the statue, said George Richert, spokesman for the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo.

The statue, which was dedicated in May 2014, cost approximately $1,000 to install, Burzynski said. The church will work to have the statue replaced, he said.

"No doubt about that," he said.


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