Vandals absconded with the cross and part of the steeple at the Our Lady of Blacktip cathedral Wednesday night, leaving no clues as to how or why. (photo by Wendy Beaufort/BTT staff)
Unidentified thieves Wednesday night stole the steeple roof and cross from the Our Lady of Blacktip cathedral, leaving church officials and local residents baffled as to the motivation.
“I came to prep for mass Thursday morning, and the cross was just gone,” Father Audley Crossblesser said. “I ran all around the outside of the church to see if it had fallen, but there was no sign of it. To do something like that this time of year, that’s Satan’s work.
“This is shaping up to be the saddest Christmas in memory,” Crossblesser said. “First the iguanas maul the carolers, now somebody’s stolen our cross. And added to that, it’s supposed to rain this weekend. We’ve got a big blue tarp, blessed by the bishop, but it’ll be pure hell hauling that thing up there and anchoring it down.”
The Blacktip Island Ecumenical Council was united in denouncing the act.
“We condemn this attack on a religious building, on behalf of all faiths on the island. Or lack thereof,” BIEC chair former-Reverend Jerrod Ephesians said. “Someone went out their way to play Scrooge.
“Our guess is it’s the work of an organized anti-Christmas group,” Ephesians said. “There’s no way one person did that, and it took a good bit of planning. We’re tracking down all cranes and other heavy equipment on the island capable of pulling off something like this. And there’s been no ransom note. Yet.”
Many on the island were quick to point fingers.
“It had to be the atheists,” Chrissy Graysby said. “They’re definitely anti-holiday. It wouldn’t take much for some of them to go into Grinch-mode and steal everything to do with Christmas. I’m sleeping next to my tree with a baseball bat the next few nights in case they come for my Christmas stuff.”
Island atheists denied the charge.
“Why would we waste our time and energy on stealing a giant cross?” Angela Fisher said. “We had nothing to do with the theft. We just ignore Christmas, like we do every year. You ask me, they ought to be questioning those druids and pagans up on the north end. They have a real vendetta against Christianity.”
Others had more far-fetched theories.
“The way that steeple always leaned to one side, said for years it was a missile silo,” Antonio Fletcher said. “There was flashing lights and a big boom Wednesday night. Woke me up. My guess is they fired that missile at Cuba when everybody was asleep.”
Father Crossblesser belayed that theory.
“The flashing lights and booming Wednesday night were from a passing storm,” he said. “Our Lady of Blacktip has never had, nor ever will have, missiles stored in it. Not big ones, anyway. Though I’d love to take a missile to the backside of whatever heathen did this.
“Our short-term goal is raising funds to ransom our cross back. Or, if that falls through, for rebuilding the steeple and replacing the cross. We’ll build it back better. And weld that sucker on to make it impossible to steal.”