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Arkansas monastery’s altar desecrated with sledgehammer, 1,500-year-old relics stolen…

“Throughout this, our monks continued with our regular communal prayers. Now that the gentleman has been caught and justice will proceed, may we also offer a prayer for him,” the abbey said.

“Due to the desecration of the altar, Abbot Elijah and the monastic community will undertake the penitential rite, reparation for the desecration, and offer a Mass of Reparation,” the abbey said.

The altar has been “stripped bare” and “all customary signs of joy and gladness have been put away,” the abbey said.

A portable altar will now be used until repairs are made, the abbey said.

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The vandalism of the altar took place under the Crucifix gracing Subiaco Abbey. Subiaco Abbey
The vandalism of the altar took place under the Crucifix gracing Subiaco Abbey. Subiaco Abbey

Police said that Farnam also entered a vacant house near the abbey. An item from the house was found in Farnam’s truck, police added. His truck was subsequently seized by police and towed.

Farnam has not been officially charged yet and his bond has not been set. 

“At this point, his anticipated charges are theft of property, criminal mischief in the first degree, residential burglary, breaking or entering, and public intoxication,” the sheriff’s office said.

Pending “the nature of the destruction and the difficulty in estimating the cost of the items destroyed and stolen and that an altar was desecrated,” his charges are subject to change, the sheriff’s office said.

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