The Washington National Cathedral is in the process of removing two stained glass windows that depict Confederate generals.
The Cathedral Chapter voted Tuesday to remove the windows immediately. The church says the windows will be deconsecrated, removed, conserved and stored until officials figure out what to do with them.
"The Chapter believes that these windows are not only inconsistent with our current mission to serve as a house of prayer for all people, but also a barrier to our important work on racial justice and racial reconciliation," the cathedral said in a statement Wednesday.
The pair of 8-foot-by-4-foot windows installed in 1953 memorialize Gen. Robert E. Lee and Gen. Stonewall Jackson. They were sponsored by the United Daughters of the Confederacy.
"It's never easy to think about taking fabric out of the cathedral," Randolph Hollerith, Dean of the Washington National Cathedral told News4's Tom Sherwood. "These windows have really become an obstacle to the work that we do."
#Breaking. Wash Natl Cathedral to cover up, then remove to storage 4 Confederate stained-glass windows. #NBC4DC pic.twitter.com/fjIuOgFZyU— Tom Sherwood (@tomsherwood) September 6, 2017
"I'm grateful," Maria Mercedes Bejarano, a regular worshipper at the cathedral, said. "This is a place of light and peace."
"I think they need to stay up," a tourist from Atlanta told News4. "It's a reminder of both good and bad."
The church says it hasn't decided what will replace the windows.
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The news on the Confederate windows comes one day after the Charlottesville City Council in Virginia voted to remove a second Confederate monument from a public park.
In 2016, the cathedral removed the Confederate battle flag from the stained glass windows because they were images of hatred and racial supremacy, a church task force determined. The flags were removed after the church massacre in Charleston, South Carolina.