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Man Desecrates Greenpoint Church During Sunday Service

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Jan. 14, 2020 By Allie Griffin

A 33-year-old man desecrated a Catholic church in Greenpoint Sunday when he poured juice over the altar and then threw some at the priest.

The man, who was caught by police after being detained by parishioners, walked up to the altar during the 9:30 a.m. mass at St. Anthony of Padua, located at 862 Manhattan Ave., and poured juice on the altar and splashed some at the priest.

The liquid stained the priest’s garments and damaged a bible, police said.

Church attendees grabbed the man and held him until police arrived. Police took the perpetrator to Woodhull Hospital for evaluation and he has yet to be charged, police said.

The priest, Father Jossy Vattothu, said he first thought the man was coming up to the altar to ask him a question. He said he was taken by surprise when the man began tossing juice.

St. Anthony of Padua, located at 862 Manhattan Ave. (Google Maps)

“During my years as a priest, nothing like this has ever happened,” Father Vattothu said. “It is a miracle that the bread and wine were not damaged, and I was able to continue the Mass, consecrating the bread and wine into the body and blood of Jesus Christ.”

He said that he was thankful for the parishioners who consoled him and urged Catholics to sit closer to the altar during mass to make the officiating priest feel more comfortable.

“I pray for this person and do not know what was going through his mind,” Father Vattothu said.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn denounced the incident as an act of religious intolerance and noted that the incident took place during the consecration, a sacred part of the service.

“It’s really egregious that somebody would do that at the most sacred part of the Catholic Mass, which is the consecration,” said Monsignor Anthony Hernandez, Chancellor of the Diocese of Brooklyn.

The Diocese released a video of the desecration.

“I think right now, people are scared given the current environment of anti-Semitic and anti-Catholic incidents. People are afraid to go to their house of worship.”

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Why would the priest assume he was going to ask a question?

This was just not done. For as long as I have been going to mass I RC churches you just don’t go up to the altar to ask a question. I’ve never even seen a person in need of medical assistance go up there.

It’s just not done.

Harris Milstead

Desecration of a any house of worship should covet the highest penalty. The DA unfortunately will be lenient. Anyone think justice will be served think again. He walks upon arraignment.

Richard J L

When will these evil acts be dealt with? When someone is killed or seriously injured? There should be an armed guard or police officer stationed in every church, temple and every House of worship whenever there is a service taking place. The right to worship is under attack all over the world and in America we have to demand protection from being denied that right.

Ok boomer

I agree. If there was an armed guard or police officer in every church perhaps the alter boys would have someone to go to after being molested.


No, that makes no sense. This comment must have been made by someone who is not Catholic but out to create scandal. To him or her I suggest you do some investigating into what the Church teaches. The perpetrator was obviously mentally ill.


As a Catholic myself, I am saddened more than filled with anger. Obviously this individual has emotional issues. Thankfully, he did not hurt anyone or the priest at the altar. I can only recall the words of Jesus Himself from the Cross: FATHER, FORGIVE THEM, FOR THEY NO NOT WHAT THEY DO.

Jeanette Starykowicz

I will never let evil keep me from my Father’s House.
Words should be in every Catholic’s heart and lips.


That should never happen in any church ,,,but I have had a bad experience with the priests I was helping a hungry ,homeless 19 year old young man who took comfort sleeping in back of the church building last year and while I was bringing him something to eat the priest came and told him he had to leave this area, it doesn’t look good for the church he said …smh
I said to the priest ,,,is this how you shepherd your sheep cause I know GOd would not be happy with your actions right now ,,yiu didn’t even ask him what he was homeless or if he was hungry ,,,, I TO!D HIM HES NOT A REAL MAN IF GOD ,cause God would not have acted like that that
Maybe something happen between them ,and he asked for help and he turned his back ,,,it wouldn’t surprise me if it happened

Fr. Zoltan Gombos

That incident does not justify desecrating the altar during the Liturgy. The man who desecrated the altar clearly must be hospitalized for a long time, if insane, or incarcerated for a hate crime.

Rosalie Washack

This is very sad. It’s disgraceful what is happening to Jews and Catholics in recent months. With these new arrest laws this lunatic will probably get away with it. What is the Governor and mayor going g to do give him gift cards as a reward!!! Give our police back the power to do their job. I will wait to hear from all the city state and local politicians on this matter.


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