Vandalism at Our Lady of Mount Carmel ‘Shocking and Disturbing’

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Early Friday morning, staff and clergy of The Basilica of Our Lady of Mount Carmel discovered statues around the property had been vandalized.

Statues were damaged or destroyed, including some that were decapitated, said Monsignor Robert Siffrin, vicar general for the chancery office of the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown. Damaged statues include those of St. John Paul II, St. Anthony of Padua and Mary the blessed mother, as well as some angels.

“It’s rather shocking and disturbing,” Siffrin said. “It’s so sad to see an attack on religious devotion.”

The Youngstown Police Department reports 16 fiberglass statues and two granite statues were damaged, as well as a light pole globe.

Statues are located throughout the property, including either side of the church at 343 Via Mt. Carmel Ave., as well as the walking paths on the property.

There was no damage to the inside of the building, Siffrin confirmed.

At press time, there is no estimation on the total cost of the damage, he said. The chancery office will likely have that information early next week.

Youngstown Police have a suspect in custody. Caleb Vancampen, 20, of East Palestine is expected to be charged with felony vandalism, as well as two misdemeanor theft charges from the previous day.

Built in 1913, the Basilica of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is a historic Catholic Church in Youngstown and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979 as Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church.

Pictured: 14 statues at the Basilica of Our Lady of Mount Carmel were found vandalized Friday morning.

Copyright 2021 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.