â€œThe papal flag was very special to the parishioners. They loved it. There are a lot of heartbroken parishioners right now,â€™â€™ said a worker at St. Agnes on East 43rd Street near Third Avenue.
The first of the stolen flags, which the church had purchased ahead of Pope Francisâ€™ visit, was swiped from a 12-foot pole Thursday, the same day it was put up, sources said.
The church then ordered another and put it up the same day it arrived, Monday â€” only to discover it stolen by Tuesday morning. The churchâ€™s American flag also was swiped during the second theft, said the worker at St. Agnes, where police were dusting for fingerprints Tuesday.
â€œItâ€™s disgraceful, just disgraceful,â€ another church worker said.
An elderly woman who was in the church said, â€œHow could someone do that?â€