Mass. priest forgives church vandals

March 19, 2013 at 2:01 PM
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WESTPORT, Mass., March 19 (UPI) -- The pastor of a Massachusetts Roman Catholic parish desecrated by vandals said he has forgiven those who -- quite literally -- trespassed against his church.

The Rev. Leonard Hindsley of St. John the Baptist Church in Westport said he has forgiven the two brothers who allegedly broke into the parish sometime March 1 or March 2 and stole several items, including a century-old tabernacle and urinated in the holy water.

"We're supposed to pray for everyone, even our enemies. That's in the Gospel," Hindsley said. "They have a lot to pay for in terms of God and spirituality. I'm not here to judge anybody. I'm just here to help the parish survive this traumatic event."

Martin Cutler, 29, and his brother Jesse, 27, have been charged with the break-in, The Boston Herald said Tuesday. They are charged with committing a hate crime, desecrating a house of worship and larceny as part of a break-in. Martin Cutler, who has Hepatitis-B, is additionally charged with using a poison with the intent to injure after police said he urinated "infected bodily fluid" into a receptacle filled with holy water.

Police said most of the stolen items, including a $900 chalice, were sold off for scrap or destroyed.

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