Today in Catholic History – The Kicking of the Saint

On 12 October 1995, bishop Sérgio Von Helde of the Universal Church if the Kingdom of God [UCKG] kicked a statue of Our Lady of Aparecida, the patron saint of Brazil, while on live TV in Brazil. Von Helde was attacking Catholic devotion to the saints and while verbally attacking the statue because it was unable “to see” and “to hear”, he kicked the statue so as to show that it was “unable to react, because it’s made of clay.” He also called the image of Our Lady a “horrible, disgraceful doll” and said that the “Catholic Church lies. This image can’t do anything for you.”

The broadcast caused a furor in the predominantly Catholic Brazil because it took place on the national holiday of Our Lady of Aparecida. Several of the churches of the UCKG were subject to protests and Von Helde had to be transferred to South Africa until the controversy ended.

Pope John Paul II urged Catholics not to “respond evil with evil” and the Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro called for calm so as to avoid a “holy war”.


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