New Jersey Mayor dismantles shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe
Hector Loya, mayor of Passaic, New Jersey, has ordered the removal of a shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe, which he says is illegal because it is situated on public property. The shrine has stood for 14 years.
The shrine has been dismantled.
LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Mayor Hector Loya has ordered the removal of a shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe because it is situated on state Transportation Authority property along Route 21, in the town of Passaic, New Jersey.
The mayor told the media they should not be surprised at his decision.
The city offered to relocate the shrine for six months, but all offers were rejected, so now the shrine has been dismantled.
The shrine was treasured by the Hispanic community of Passaic, since it was built in 2003.
In 2003, a boy claimed to see the Virgin Mary in a tree stump on public property. Locals flocked to see it and a shrine was erected. The stump was eventually removed and became a simple log. It was put into a glass case and housed in a shrine with statues and flowers. A mobile version of the shrine has been paraded through the city each May.
City officials ignored the shrine and any complaints until a donation box was set up at the site along with electricity run to power lights. Mayor Lora said he could not permit a permanent religious shrine on public property where money would be collected.
The mayor was correct in his assessment of the law, but it will probably cost him his job.
The shrine itself, which has been dismantled, has been removed to a secure location. It is unclear if it will return to display elsewhere.
Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
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