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God's will be done! The crucifix that was stolen in New York was found by another church and will be returned

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German-made cross will be returned in special procession

Thieves stole a massive five-by-three foot crucifix, worth $5,000, from the Saint Anthony of Padua Roman Catholic Church in the Bronx on December 3.

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Highlights

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
12/8/2014 (6 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Cross, Bronx, New York, St. Anthony of Padua, U.S.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The wooden cross, made in Germany, was taken from the lobby of the church between 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. police revealed.

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Police sources believe the thieves unscrewed the bolts that were attaching the crucifix to the wall ahead of time, and then later returned to take the cross while the parishioners were focused on their service.

"I'm distressed. That crucifix means so much to the people here ...I've never seen anything like this," said Josu Iriondo, the 75-year-old pastor of the church.

"It's someone who knew what they were doing. They had to be professionals," he said.

Church attendees customarily touch the crucifix when they enter the church, and apparently one such parishioner thought the crucifix felt loose.

"Somebody said after the fact that the crucifix was very loose," Iriondo said.

Other parishioners may have even seen the crime in progress, but assumed that things were just being moved around, as often is the case at that church.

"We move so many things from one place to the other, so they probably thought it was just something we were moving," he said.

The crucifix is decorated with a detailed sculpture of Jesus Christ, and is flanked by a statue of the Virgin Mary and St. John.

"We are praying that someone is going to return it," said Iriondo.

"That cross means so much to people even passing by. We could save one or two persons by just looking at it."

The cross was later found by a pastor of a nearby church, who spotted a man trying to sell it on the street, for $60.

"We saw crossing in front of our car a man running with a big cross," said Pastor Antonio Palacios of St. Anselm's Church. "We were suspicious that it had been stolen."

Palacios and members of his parish surrounded the man and told him to give back the cross. Palacios said that "there were a lot of people shouting at him that it was not right to steal from a church and from God."

A parishioner eventually traded the cross for a smaller one, and Palacios is set to return the crucifix to Padua church in a special procession set for Monday night.

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