(TRINIDAD EXPRESS) – A medical student walked into the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Port of Spain during Palm Sunday service and desecrated the Statue of St Paul and the crucifix.
In a statement issued by Msgr. Christian D Pereira on Sunday evening, the man who was carrying a knapsack was identified as a member of the congregation.
Pereira stated that at around 6.30am while the congregation gathered in the forecourt for the Blessing of the Palms and the procession the man began smashing the statue with a pair of dumbbells.
He said the damage was well advanced before one of the regular worshipers, a police officer, was able to suppress him and hold him until the police arrived.
The man was taken to the Besson Street Station.
Pereira stated that the student’s mother was contacted, and the police had intended to release him into the care of his mother.
“Even though the reality is that a crime had been committed against the Church and the desecration of sacred items there is a deeper issue than that of criminal activity,” he said.
He said the cost of repair and replacement will be have to borne by the worshipers who continue to be faithful.
“The mother has more important responsibilities than finding money to compensate the church,” he said.
The crucifix is the one usually used in the church’s Good Friday Liturgy.
A senior psychologist noted that more university students were displaying stress related actions.
In the past two years, the Express was told, two medical students and one engineering student had committed suicide.
The parent of another medical student, who asked not to be identified, admitted that stress sometimes stemmed from the home.
However, he noted, that students were also being pressured by lecturers at school.
He said university lecturers were sometimes harsh and students were vulnerable.
“If educational system is too burdensome it can cause students to have emotional disturbances. So if you look at the educational system on its own you would find students generally complain that the hours are a bit tedious in that they have to work long hours,” he said.