Thieves Steal Copper, Priceless Gospel from Church

November 15, 2011 Updated Nov 15, 2011 at 12:14 AM EDT

By WKBW Internet

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November 15, 2011 Updated Nov 15, 2011 at 12:14 AM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - Leaders and parishioners of Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church in Lovejoy were stunned to find out their parish was his by thieves over the weekend.

Stolen were copper inlays along the rear roof of the church, along with a number of items from inside, including a copy of The Gospel that dates back to the building of the church in the 1930's.

"I can't fathom how somebody would do that. Especially when it comes to the items that we use in the celebration. This Gospel book was probably used by our founders back in 1933 that built this church. They heard messages from the Gospel from that book," said Father Volodymyr Zablotskyy, who heads the church.

The damage to the building is estimated at about $8,000, however the Gospel, which has an intricate cover over bronze and silver, has a historical and sentimental value to parishioners that can't be valued.

Janet Hetzel, a 15-year parishioner of the church sums up her feelings quite bluntly.

"[It's] Really a stinking shame," she said.

Anyone with information is asked to call Buffalo Police.