Pastor of St. Martin of Tours speaks on church’s vandalism: ‘Just a terrible mess’

Pastor speaks following vandalism at St. Martin of Tours

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A historic Catholic Church parish just east of downtown Louisville spent the afternoon healing over prayer and song.

Fr. Paul Beach’s Tuesday homily asked the members of St. Martin of Tours, and all who saw the damage done to the church’s sanctuary, to have compassion for the man allegedly involved.

“Let’s not forget to pray for all of those who are sick or those who suffer anyway from illness, from addiction,” Beach said.

It’s believed Romaric Houmgag, 35, was under the influence of drugs. He’s charged with destroying the altar and other items of reverence at the church.

“I arrived late Sunday, early Monday morning, to a mess, nothing nearly as nice as this now,” Beach said. “Just a terrible mess.”

Somehow the attacker had the strength to tear down the canopy above the altar, smashed down the statues, and ravaged the altar. On the floor, he allegedly left a crucifix with the arm of Jesus Christ amputated.

Damage inside God’s house, leaving behind a message of forgiveness. Dozens of people worshipped at an altar that doesn’t look the same, but still carries the same weight in the silence of their hearts.

“There is something much more precious to all of us here at this church and that’s our faith,” Beach said. “That’s intangible. Our faith always grows. We’ll repair and move on.”

The church is set to be closed for the next couple of days to assess the damage and work with police on this investigation

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