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The president of Georgetown University says vandalism of the campus' main chapel forced Sunday morning Masses to be moved to another location.
Georgetown President John J. DeGioia says Dahlgren Chapel was opened in time for evening Masses at 5 p.m.
However, scheduled 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. services were moved to St. William's Chapel in Copley Hall while D.C. Police and the Department of Public Safety conducted an on-scene investigation.
DeGioia says a preliminary investigation showed the primary damage was to furniture and other fixtures and there was not any desecration of religious symbols in the chapel.
"I must underscore that acts of vandalism, especially of sacred places, have no place in our campus community," DeGioia said in a "message to the Georgetown community" released on the university's website Sunday afternoon. "As a Catholic and Jesuit university, we are committed to fostering a community that is welcoming to people of all religions, races and ethnicities and that values understanding, inclusion and respect."
The university says Dahlgren has been the Jesuit university campus' main chapel since 1893. The cross that is suspended over the main altar is believed to have been constructed during the earliest days of the founding of Maryland as a Catholic colony.
DeGioia is asking students and staff to report any suspicious activity or signs of vandalism to the university.
"Our Department of Public Safety is working closely with MPD in investigating this crime," a Georgetown spokeswoman told News4 Sunday night. She declined to provide more information, citin gthe ongoing investigation.