SEASIDE HEIGHTS, New Jersey — Authorities say a priest found two people having sex beneath a statue of the Virgin Mary at a Catholic church in New Jersey.

Seaside Heights police say 43-year-old Anthony Getchius, of Newark, and 48-year-old Noelle Smart, of Jersey City, are facing lewdness charges.

Authorities say the pair was found around 12:30 p.m. Tuesday in “a sacred area” on the grounds of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. They were in a secluded garden located between the rectory and the church, which is next door to police headquarters.

Police Chief Tommy Boyd said multiple officers arrived at the scene and observed the couple fully engaged in the act of coitus.

Both are reported to be homeless and are accused of disrobing in public, being a public nuisance and consuming alcohol in public. Police said they were both intoxicated at the time of their arrest.

Gretchius is also facing charges of creating a dangerous condition and obstructing the law.

It wasn’t known Wednesday if either Getchius or Smart retained attorneys. Telephone numbers for the pair could not be located.

Crux staff contributed to this report.