There have been at least 95 reported incidents of vandalism of Catholic churches across the United States since May 2020, according to a report by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee for Religious Liberty.
Incidents include arson, the destruction of statues, and the defacement of church buildings and gravestones with swastikas and anti-Catholic language.
“Whether those who committed these acts were troubled individuals crying out for help or agents of hate seeking to intimidate, the attacks are signs of a society in need of healing,” Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Maimi, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Religious Liberty, and Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, wrote in a July 2020 statement.
“In those incidents where human actions are clear, the motives still are not. As we strain to understand the destruction of these holy symbols of selfless love and devotion, we pray for any who have caused it, and we remain vigilant against more of it,” the bishops wrote.
The latest incident included in the report took place Sept. 5. Vandals graffitied a door and two signs at a Catholic church in Louisville, Colo., about 20 miles northwest of Denver.
Incidents occurred across 29 states.
The report referred to 12 incidents in California since May 2020, including the defacement and removal of a statue of St. Junipero Serra in October 2020, and arson in July 2020 that destroyed parts of a 249-year old mission church in San Gabriel.
The report also cited 14 incidents in New York, including anti-Catholic and anti-police graffiti on the exterior of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in January.
In some cases, dioceses have requested increased security following vandalism.
The Diocese of Brooklyn requested increased police presence in May, after two incidents of vandalism at church properties in three days. A statue depicting the Blessed Mother holding the infant Jesus was discovered vandalized outside the diocesan administrative offices, with Christ decapitated. A crucifix display outside a parish was also found toppled over, with an American flag outside the rectory burned. Both incidents were investigated as potential hate crimes….
The above comes from a Sept. 13 story on the site of Catholic News Agency.
If these were historically black churches you would hear about it nonstop on CNN and their ilk. Ignoring these acts will increase them, and with progressive attorneys general in most major cities, the likelihood of prosecution for the vandals is low.
Another sign of our constitutional freedoms being weakened by the left. They hate the 1st amendment, and the 2nd, which supports it.
Attacks on Churches are sins. Pray.
The only real enemy we have is Satan.
Satan’s minions are also our enemies. They must be exposed, wherever they are found, including rectories, seminaries, chanceries and St. Peter’s itself.
And the pews, maybe?
I must say that this comment from Deus Vult is unnecessarily and inappropriately antagonistic towards members of the clergy. DV, people who live in rectories, seminaries, chanceries, and even at St. Peter’s did not cause these instances of vandalism. If this unjust and irrational antipathy towards members of the clergy is deeply imbedded in your heart, then consider that it is you who have been duped by the devil.
Jon, if the last few years have not been enough to persuade you of evil and corruption within the Church, then it is you who have been duped.
Pope Paul VI admitted in 1972 that “the smoke of Satan has entered the Church”, thus proving my point that Satan’s minions are everywhere.
I discovered early in my Christian journey that one of Satan’s tricks is that he tells you he is over there in those people.
Oh here we go again, perhaps the most misquoted words from Pope St. Paul VI. Deus Vult, when referring to the smoke of Satan, Paul VI was not referring to the members of the clergy. How preposterous. Read what the Pope actually said:
“through some crack, the smoke of Satan has entered the Church of God. There is doubt, uncertainty, problems, unrest, dissatisfaction, confrontation. The Church is no longer trusted. We trust the first pagan prophet we see who speaks to us in some newspaper, and we run behind him and ask him if he has the formula for true life. I repeat, doubt has entered our conscience. And it entered through the windows that should have been open to the light: science.” In other words DV, Pope Paul VI was referring to secularism, to doubt, to disunity in the Church (thank you “Traditionis custodes” for working to unite the Church), and to science.
Additionally DVult, whatever corruption and evil are in the Church, they will never be eradicated through your antipathy and antagonism against members of the Church’s anointed ministers.
The Holy Father observes, “We believe in something that is preternatural that has come into the world precisely to disturb, to suffocate the fruits of the Ecumenical Council, and to impede the Church from breaking into the hymn of joy at having renewed in fullness its awareness of itself. Precisely for this reason, we should wish to be able, in this moment more than ever, to exercise the function God assigned to Peter, to strengthen the Faith of the brothers. We should wish to communicate to you this charism of certitude that the Lord gives to him who represents him though unworthily on this earth.” Faith gives us certitude, security, when it is based upon the Word of God accepted and consented to with our very own reason and with our very own human spirit. Whoever believes with simplicity, with humility, sense that he is on the good road, that he has an interior testimony that strengthens him in the difficult conquest of the truth.
There has always been a dark side to the Church even from the very beginning. One only needs to consider the action of Judas and many others who left because of some difficult teachings of our Lord. Read the Eucharistic discourses in the Gospel of John for an example of these difficult teachings. In our own time certainly the clergy sex abuse and financial scandals reveal disturbing sins of the Church. The smoke of Satan wafted into the Church right after the Last Supper on Holy Thursday night.
These are not sins of the Church. The Church is holy. The only sins in the Church are committed by sinners. The Church is made up of redeemed sinners but the devil, the flesh and the world tempt us to do things we should not do. It is not a dark side to the Church but fallen human nature.
Willard, please: the Church was inaugurated at Pentecost: Judas Iscariot was long dead by then. Do get your Biblical chronology right.
Actually Jon, it is the unanimous teaching of the ancient Fathers that the Church was born from the side of the Savior on the cross, and having founded the Church by His blood, Christ strengthened it on Pentecost. Source: The Catechism of the Catholic Church by John A. Hardin, SJ, pages 208-209.
Your chastisement of Willard’s post is incorrect, do make a note of it.
People, Pope Paul VI was specific when he identified what the “smoke of Satan” was in his homily; and guess what, he was not referring to members of the clergy specifically the ones that you don’t happen to like. The Pope was referring to the smoke of doubt, of mistrust of the Church (and yes that includes mistrust of the Church’s clergy), of secularism, of disaffection, of science. Honestly, to try to twist Paul VI’s words to mean something he didn’t — and much worse, to attempt to support the twisting by incorrectly referring to Scripture, specifically to Judas (as if he were somehow the “representative” of all the bishops and priests you do not like and therefore the smoke has entered at the beginnings of the Church) is hilarious.
People, if you are going to continue to incorrectly use Judas as a “representative” of the Church’s clergy you do not like, consider that the Iscariot was already dead at the inauguration and the revelation of the Church’s mission and ministry (my point earlier). He did not receive the Great Commission, nor did he receive the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.
Simmer down, Pentecost is considered the birthday of the Church. It is the completion of Christ’s Mission.
The piercing of the side of Christ was seen as the birth of the sacraments (Baptism and Eucharist) and the sacraments are what makes the Church so it was expounded that the sacraments with which the Church would be founded came from the side of Christ like Adam’s rib and was formed from the side of Christ like Eve was formed from the side of Adam therefore the Church is the bride of Christ.
But generally, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles at Pentecost is considered the birth of the Church.
It is not a subject for arguing but for pondering.