Old City Hall creche vandalized for sixth year straight

  • December 10, 2010
creche vandalizedTORONTO - For the sixth year in a row, vandals have taken a shot at the Christmas creche in front of Old City Hall in downtown Toronto.

Passersby noticed the plexiglass window which encases the statues of Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus had been smashed on Dec. 5. Suresh Dominic of Campaign Life Coalition's Catholic wing was preparing to replace the broken pane on Dec. 8.

"It's really shameful for our city," said Dominic.

Campaign Life's Catholic group, which also operates as Gethsemene Ministries, puts up the Christmas display just half-a-block from the Eaton Centre and Canada's busiest shopping district.

Last year the creche became controversial when Gethsemene Ministries included a sign thanking anonymous sponsors for financing the purchase of $5,000 worth of new statues in the name of "pro-life hero Fr. Ted Colleton." Complaints were made to city hall and Campaign Life was accused to trying to politicize the Christmas display.

Dominic and Campaign Life denied they had any plan to stir controversy or attract media attention. They took down the sign to mollify Toronto Parks and Recreation. This year the sign only notes Gethsemene Ministries.

For the most part, people appreciate that the creche connects the Christmas season with more than shopping, Dominic said.

"Even when I was installing the statues, we had lots of families come up and they were taking pictures. They had small children and they were just so happy it was going up," he said.

The creche at Old City Hall will remain up until Jan. 9.

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