CHICAGO — A marble replica of Michelangelo’s ‘La Pieta’ statue residing at St. Adalbert’s Church was relocated from the now-closed religious establishment Tuesday.
For more than a century, the 6,000 lbs. statue resided in the church, but after a controversial decision to shutter the church in 2019, the removal of the statue only adds another painful memory to the minds of those who were once a part of the congregation.
“The church was built by people for people, and it didn’t belong to [Blase] Cupich to sell off,” said Anina Jakubowski, a former parishioner at St. Adalbert’s.
CPD officers took five protestors into custody after they allegedly tried to block the removal of the statue. The statue was packed up and shipped to St. Paul’s Catholic Church on West 22nd Place, just over a mile away.
“I can sympathize with them, I mean it was really hard for the parishioners,” said Raul Serrano.
Serrano was also a parishioner who used to belong to St Adalbert’s, but he supports the decision to relocate the statue and consolidate what the Archdiocese of Chicago describes as underused parishes.
“It was in a big, vacant building,” Serrano said of the Michelangelo replica. “So, our fear was that it would get vandalized.”
According to a statement from a spokesperson at the Archdiocese of Chicago, “it was the decision of the people at St. Paul Parish, which includes the former St. Adalbert Parish, to move the statue to their active, vibrant church.”