Vandals beheaded a statue outside St. Bartholomew Church in Chicago’s Portage Park neighborhood earlier this week, the church’s pastor says.

Worshipers gathered outside the church at the corner of Laverne and Addison Friday night.

“The statue has been the icon of St. Bartholomew,” Rev. Ricardo Castillo said.

It had been a fixture along the busy Addison Street Side of the church for the last 25 years.

“After they knocked it down, they got a brick, because a brick was there on the ground on the side, and they slammed it and took the head away,” Castillo said.

The statue, weighing and estimated eight to 900 pounds and standing nearly six feet tall was toppled. Even more disturbing–the head stolen.

“Looking at the statue knocked down and headless and the head no where to be found very much–it’s sad,” Castillo said.

Castillo says the church hasn’t received any threats and he has no idea who would have done this.

“I think it’s terrible. I don’t know how nobody could have seen it with the busy street. But I think this world is really going bad,” said parishioner Bernadine Ruffing.

Friday afternoon what remained of the sacred statue was sent off for repair.

“I hope that we do recover the head–that’s all I want,” Castillo said.

Castillo says until the early 1990s the statue was kept inside the church high above the main altar. Given what’s happened, he says, it may be time to return it to safety of the cathedral.

Published at 10:35 PM CDT on May 5, 2017 | Updated at 10:42 PM CDT on May 5, 2017

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