NEW ORLEANS — A man shouting "I am the Holy Spirit, burn all the Bibles!" ran amok in the St. Louis Cathedral today, destroying old statues described as priceless.
"It's absolutely unbelieveable--it's like a nightmare," said John Frentz, who watched the rampage.
The 100-year-old Statue of Our Lady of Deliverance, which shattered, had recently been repainted at a cost of $3,000 in anticipation of the impending visit of Pope John Paul II.
Police were not able to identify the man, who was booked on charges of criminal damage of more than $10,000 and aggravated assault.
Frentz, the pastor's lay administrative assistant, said he had just opened the cathedral when he heard shouts and saw a tall, heavy man with wild black hair standing on the table where parishioners set candles to burn.