ANCHORAGE (AP) -- An attack on a Roman Catholic church made a mess but probably was not religiously motivated, according to the church pastor.
The Rev. Dan Hebert said damage to sacred objects was profane at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, but did not appear to be specifically anti-Catholic.
Vandals who broke into the church late Thursday or early Friday trashed the kitchen and desecrated a chapel but did little lasting structural damage.
A maintenance worker at the Roman Catholic church on Wisconsin Street discovered the break-in. The thieves stole the church sound system and two rugs, separated the main altar from its footing, fractured a plastic baptismal basin and smashed up a wooden sacristy in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel.
Food and equipment littered the kitchen floor and trailed into the back of the church proper. Pastel strings of rosary beads, tumbled missals and ceremonial stones littered the foyer floor, while at the other end of the building workmen boarded up a smashed window and police officers collected finger and foot prints.
But a chalice was left behind in the debris and the sacramental oils and wines were not disturbed.
Brother Charles McBride, a spokesman for the archbishop's office, said the attack was the first on any local Catholic church in a long time.
Volunteers showed up before noon to begin cleaning.
A wedding ceremony scheduled for Saturday was moved to another church. Church officials said they planned to reconsecrate the chapel before a Saturday mass.
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