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Bishop: Bridgeport police found swastika painted on church doors

January 5, 2019

BRIDGEPORT — Bridgeport Bishop Frank J. Caggiano said he was “deeply disturbed and outraged” at the swastika painted on the doors of a city church Friday.

In a post on Facebook, Caggiano said police officers on patrol were the ones to discover the vandalism Friday morning on the doors of the St. Augustine Cathedral.

“Though the police have yet to identify the perpetrator of this crime, I am appalled and outraged by this act of vandalism against the Mother Church of our Diocese and this brazen and disgusting display of anti-Semitism which is morally abhorrent and an affront to our Catholic faith,” Caggiano’s post said.

Caggiano said he’s on a retreat with other bishops across the nation in Mundelein, Illinois, and only learned of the incident Saturday afternoon.

“I am deeply disturbed and outraged that someone would violate the sanctity of our church,” Caggiano said. “To use a clearly anti-Semitic symbol is participating in an unspeakable evil.”

Caggiano said he condemns the incident and hopes the suspect will be found.

“My thoughts and prayers are with our Jewish brothers and sisters in the city of Bridgeport and beyond,” he said.

Police did not immediately comment on the incident.

Anti-Semitic behavior was brought to the forefront after a mass shooting on Oct. 27, 2018, at a synagogue in Pittsburgh that left 11 people dead and six injured.

And Friday’s incident in Bridgeport wasn’t the first of its kind in Connecticut in recent years.

In mid-Nov. 2018, students at Amity Regional High School in Woodbridge reported they felt unsafe because of hate speech and anti-Semitic symbols popping up there.

In 2017, Greenwich Country Day School headmaster Adam Rohdie found two swastikas in a hallway and in the ninth grade lounge. After the deadly incident at the Pittsburgh synagogue, Rohdie called a school-wide assembly to discuss how that incident was handled.

In Aug. 2014, two 14-year-olds were arrested for allegedly painting swastikas on a vacant home, a tree and several public signs in the Wilkinson Avenue area.

Schools in Stratford, Danbury, Greenwich, Ridgefield and Wilton have seen drawings of swastikas over the years.

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