FLOYDS KNOBS – The Floyd County Sheriff’s Department is investigating a report of vandalism at St. Mary of the Knobs Catholic Church in Floyds Knobs.
According to a Facebook post from the department, a report of vandalism was made this week. An attached photo shows a small statue of Mary with the misspelled word “Harlat” in red. It also shows red markings around the top of its head.
Greg Otolski, communications director for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, said the damage also included the word “hell” spray-painted on the doors of a small chapel, not the main doors of the church. The damage was reported on Tuesday and may have been done early in the morning or the night before.
“I think more than anything, it causes a lot of sadness that someone could be so disrespectful to someone else’s religious beliefs,” he said. The church is reviewing safety and security measures at the parish.
He added that the damage did not indicate a threat to St. Mary’s School on the property, which has about 280 students in kindergarten through eighth grade.
“We have a lot of safety procedures at school,” he said. A letter sent to parents this week by the school’s headmaster described the security already in place – doors are locked during school hours, there are a series of surveillance cameras and doorbells and teachers are equipped with two-way radios when away from school.
After the vandalism, administrators met with teachers to review security plans and take additional security measures. The walking track will now be closed during PE and additional police presence has been requested around the entire property.
“We understand that your children are your most precious asset and we take their safety and well-being very seriously,” the letter reads in part. “Thank you for entrusting us with their care.”
A similar letter was sent to parishioners informing them of the vandalism and the church’s response, Otolski said.
By Thursday afternoon, the sheriff’s department’s post had garnered nearly 500 shares and 70 comments, including people calling the act “horrible” or “disgusting.”
“I feel like crying!!!! stepmom,” one comment read. Another asked for forgiveness for whoever did it.
“Why would anyone do such a thing?” “God does not forgive them for what they do,” it reads.
Anyone with information in this case is asked to contact the Floyd County Sheriff’s Department Criminal Investigation Division at 812-948-5407. Callers can remain anonymous.