Historic Vatican II altar damaged by Latin Mass group

Shaking his head, Bob Purgert tilted one of the pedestals that supported the top of what is now a dismantled altar stored in an unheated hall on the property of his beloved St Elizabeth of Hungary Church in Cleveland’s economically struggling Buckeye neighbourhood.

He showed a visitor the casters under the pedestal, which allowed the altar to be rolled aside for special events. Chipped and splintered wood could be seen atop and along the sides of the pedestal, a second one next to it, and the altar top resting on a table nearby.

“They didn’t have to do this,” a disappointed Purgert, 71, said of the damaged altar. Parishioners are deeply proud of the altar, which parish priest Fr Julius Zahorszky built in 1966 to accommodate the liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council.

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