BURKINA FASO – Last weekend, Catholics from a village of Dissin in the Diocese of Diébougou arrived for Sunday morning mass. But parishioners from the Church of Sainte Thérèse de l’Enfant Jésus were appalled by what they saw.
Most of the statues in the church had been decapitated. The heads of the statues were lined up along the altar. A Marian statue in the grotto was completely destroyed.
The parish priest, Father Ruffin Somé, was the first to discover the desecration.
“Statues are the work of human hands and should not be worshiped,”
a message left on a chalkboard in the church read. “Are you Christians or Catholics?”
Children in the area told authorities that an unknown group of people visited the church and took pictures of statues before leaving. It’s believed that the church was desecrated overnight during a heavy rain.
Father Somé informed Bishop Der Raphaël Kusiélé Dabiré of Diébougou of the situation. He called on the community to enter into a time of prayer and forgiveness.
Investigations are still underway to discover who desecrated the church. This past week, Bishop Der Raphaël Kusiélé Dabiré ordered the Church of Sainte Thérèse de l’Enfant Jésus to close. He later joined parishioners for Mass and acts of purification.
Since the visit of the Bishop, the church is now re-opened.
The Diocese of Diébougou in Africa is home to 155,770 Catholics. 14 parishes, 86 priests, 76 lay religious, and 43 seminarians serve the Catholics of the area.