NJ town mayor orders that Catholic shrine be removed

NJ town mayor orders that Catholic shrine be removed
Virgin and Child with angels and Sts. George and Theodore. Icon from around 600, from Saint Catherine's Monastery

[Ed. – Isn’t offending Hispanics against the law?]

The mayor of a New Jersey town ordered the removal of a Catholic shrine Wednesday that stood illegally on state-owned land for 14 years.

Hector Lora, mayor of Passaic, ordered a folk shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe be removed from land owned by the New Jersey Department of Transportation, according to The Record.

“The shrine was located illegally on public property and its removal should not come as a surprise,” Lora told The Record. “For over six months the city offered multiple resolutions for relocating the shrine, and all of those suggestions were rejected.”

The removal of the shrine sparked grief and outrage from locals, as the site was considered the spiritual center of the Hispanic Catholic community of Passaic. …

“I feel so powerless just standing here watching them take it apart,” Delfino Rocha told The Record. “It’s been here for 14 years and it’s not bothering anybody. Why do they have to remove it now?”

Citizens erected the shrine — a wooden log in a glass case surrounded by metal bars under a Mexican flag — 14 years ago when a local Hispanic youth claimed he saw the face of the Virgin Mary in the log, according to the Associated Press.

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