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Sweden: church vandalised in Göteborg. Card. Arborelius, news that gives “pain and dismay”

The names of those who entered the Church of Christ the King in Göteborg (Sweden) on Friday 13th November and damaged it are not known yet. A week earlier, the cross had already been stolen from the altar, but in the second raid the altar cloth was ripped out, the ambo and the chair were overturned and thrown off the presbytery. A side chapel and several other items, such as the books of chants and the votive candles for the dead, were damaged as well. According to the parish priest, don Tobias Unnerstål, this is “intentional destruction” with “symbolic” gestures that are suggestive of “rage against the Church”.

The raid supposedly lasted few minutes and has not been claimed by anyone yet. The church – the diocese’s website explained today – will still stay open on weekdays too, but the priest called the parishioners “to come to church in the weeks to pray”, because “the risk of new attacks decreases when there are people in”. “I have received many calls, emails and messages on these days”, don Tobias said, but I have not heard “any revengeful word: I am glad that so many people take care of the offender too and say they are praying for him as well”. Cardinal Anders Arborelius received the news “with pain and dismay”, as the website of the Catholic Church in Sweden writes, and prays “for the community at this difficult time”.

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