Schmuck of the Week

Our Lady of Guadalupe mural vandal is our Shmuck of the Week: Jesus, Mary and Joseph!

Someone in the Catholic Archdiocese of Denver ordered that a mural of the Virgin Mary at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church be covered up two years ago.

Or did they?

Then, last weekend, someone scrawled the word "basta" -- meaning "enough" -- across the controversial mural, which has continued to be a sore spot there.

Or did they?

The ongoing dispute between Our Lady pastor Benito Hernandez, who would like to keep the mural covered, and a group called Faithful United, which would like it to be uncovered, has divided the mostly Spanish-speaking parishioners of this church since 2009, when the mural was covered.

But the alleged vandalism has made tensions rise again, especially after someone with the church, either Hernandez or the Archdiocese, asked the police not to investigate.

Or did they?

The story of the mural reads like a mystery -- a Da Vinci Code of Denver -- that includes empty church hallways, murky intentions, police involvement and veils of religious secrecy with the Archdiocese. And now, Hernandez has said he won't meet with Faithful United for five weeks, until after Lent, according to a story in the Denver Post.

But someone defaced the mural (we think), and whoever did that needs to ask for forgiveness from their shmuckery.

For more shmucks, visit our Shmuck of the Week archive.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes