SCRANTON (December 26, 2022) – The administration of the Cathedral of Saint Peter is deeply saddened to report an act of vandalism to parish property discovered on Christmas evening, Dec. 25, 2022.
During an evening inspection of Cathedral grounds, Father Jeffrey Tudgay, pastor, discovered the numbers “666” carved separately into three front doors of the Cathedral church.
Scranton police have been notified of the vandalism and Cathedral staff will cooperate with the law enforcement investigation. Officers will be working to determine if surveillance cameras on Cathedral property might provide any information on who is responsible for the damage.
The discovery of the vandalism comes after hundreds of people joyfully celebrated Christmas at the Cathedral during five different Masses on Dec. 24 and Dec. 25. While it is currently unknown exactly when the vandalism occurred, the final Mass on Christmas Day took place at 12:15 p.m. on Sunday.
In response to the vandalism, the Most Rev. Joseph C. Bambera, Bishop of Scranton, and Father Tudgay, Cathedral pastor, released the following statements:
“The vandalism discovered at our Cathedral, especially as we celebrated the Nativity of Our Lord, saddens me greatly. The doors of our Cathedral have been used countless times to bring people closer to God and it is my hope that the person who did this will regret his or her actions,” Bishop Bambera said. “I am offering my prayers for whoever did this and for their reconciliation to God.”
“I am hoping the individual responsible for the vandalism will come forward and allow me to have a conversation with them. We are a people of prayer who minister in a troubled world but the mission and message of Christ’s Church is one of forgiveness and reconciliation,” Father Tudgay added. “While we are upset at the actions that took place, we also understand the need to forgive and be forgiven.”
Anyone who might have information on the vandalism at the Cathedral of Saint Peter is urged to call the Scranton Police Department at (570) 348-4130.