A 12-year-old boy has been charged in connection with an attack on a Catholic priest’s home.
The youngster is said to have been involved in a month-long campaign by a group of youths targeting the Holy Family Catholic Church in Mossend in North Lanarkshire.
In a Facebook post, Sancta Familia Media revealed that the teenagers had been intimidating parish priest Fr Michael Brown ‘by trespassing, being abusive, kicking doors and other general misdemeanours’.
However, on Thursday 4th March, the youths went a step further and the violence and intimidation escalated when they smashed the front window of the parish house.
‘This should not be tolerated and the costs will fall on the parish which is already under a tighter squeeze due to lockdown,’ Sancta Familia wrote.
‘No-one deserves this.
Fr Brown, 57, said the trouble has been “unsettling and frustrating”.
“We didn’t know what to do or when this would end,” he told The Scottish Sun.
“The police were here for a while but once they left the kids came back, they keep defying them.
“I’ve been in this parish for two years and have never had any trouble, but the past six weeks have been constant.”
Responding to Sancta Familia’s Facebook post, many parishioners and others expressed concern and branded the youths’ behaviour ‘disgusting’.
One pointed out that similar behaviour had taken place at a parish close to them, while another insisted that more must be done to protect priests and their churches.
‘Priests are very vulnerable and as time moves on they could be under more danger. Catholic men need to be there for them,’ he wrote.
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Officers were called to Hope Street in Bellshill on Thursday 4th March, after reports of anti-social behaviour of youths and vandalism.
“A 12-year-old boy has been charged in connection with vandalism and enquiries are ongoing.”
Picture: The smashed front window of Fr Brown’s parish house. (Sancta Familia Media).