Attacks on U.S. Catholic churches listed by bishops
Including Woodland, Van Nuys, Rancho Cordova

2021-05-03T11:53:32-07:00May 3rd, 2021|Religious Freedom|

At least 67 incidents occurred across 25 states since May 2020. The causes of the fire at Mission San Gabriel Arcángel in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the fire at St. Charles Catholic School in the Diocese of Spokane are still unknown. Incidents include arson, statues beheaded, limbs cut, smashed, and painted, gravestones defaced with swastikas and anti-Catholic language and American flags next to them burned, and other destruction and vandalism.

2021 incidents

April 26: Man smashed face of Our Lady of Guadalupe with a sledgehammer (St. Elisabeth Catholic Church, Van Nuys, CA) –

April 17 or 18: Statues of the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Mary Magdalene, and St. John, spray painted (Holy Rosary Catholic Church, Woodland, CA) –

April 17 or 18: Statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary spray painted (St. John Vianney, Rancho Cordova, CA) –

April 16 or 17: Face of statue of Jesus vandalized (St. Mary’s Cathedral, Fargo, ND) –

April 15: Statues of three female saints vandalized (Holy Rosary Church,Woodland, CA) – 

April 1: Gunshots fired at abbey of Benedictines of Mary, Queen of the Apostles (Abbey of Our Lady of Ephesus, Gower, MO) –

March 22: Fire at St. Charles Catholic School is being investigated as possible arson (St. Charles Catholic Church, Spokane, WA) –

March 12: Unkown substance inserted into locks, statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary knocked down (St. Teresa of Calcutta Church, St. John Paul II Academy, and St. Monica-St. Augustine Catholic Church, Boston, MA) –

March 2: Vandals damaged statues of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Thomas the Apostle (St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church, Ft. Worth, TX) –

February 27: Several statues vandalized (Basilica of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Youngstown, OH) –

February 25: Chapel doors and statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary vandalized (St. Mary of the Knobs Catholic Church, Floyds Knobs, IN) –

February 16: Statue and flower pots around altar damaged (St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, Denver, CO) –

February 10: Three angel statues toppled and broken (St. Pius X, El Paso, TX) –

January 29: Statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe shot six times (Queen of Peace Catholic Church, Houston, TX) –

January 19: Graffiti and arson at Cathedral (Rosary Cathedral, Toledo, OH) –

January 1: Cathedral tagged with anti-police graffiti (St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New York, NY) –

The above comes from a release from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops including 2021 and 2021 reports.




  1. Behemoth May 3, 2021 at 3:39 pm - Reply

    I guess some Texans do not like Catholics or Catholic Churches.

    • Curious May 3, 2021 at 6:17 pm - Reply

      Hmmm… There is a 19th-century Walker revolver called the Texas Behemoth.
      Help us out. What is your point about Texans?
      And, what does that have to do with church vandalism (since only a few of the incidents took place in Texas)?

  2. Anonymous May 3, 2021 at 4:43 pm - Reply

    I don’t think any TLM parishes have been attacked. That must mean the devil doesn’t consider them to be a threat. He only attacks novus ordo parishes. Think about it.

    • Curious May 3, 2021 at 6:24 pm - Reply

      To you, is every story about the TLM?
      I don’t think these vandals were targeting churches because they celebrated the Ordinary Form or the Extraordinary Form.
      Those who hate and persecute Catholics don’t make those distinctions. (That’s an argument within the family of the Church.)
      (Some Cal Catholic Daily readers, obviously, make a disproportionate deal about their preferred, or disliked, Form of the Mass.)
      If we ever face serious persecution and are shipped off to “re-education” camps, we’ll likely be together.
      Just like not everything is about politics, not everything is about the TLM or Vatican II.

    • TLM parishioners must be vandalizing NO parishes May 4, 2021 at 11:52 am - Reply

      Think about it, Anonymous, indeed think about it. You seem to be suggesting that it is TLM adherants who are vandalizing “novus ordo parishes”.

      Yes, that is absurd, but that is where your logic leads us. It also leads us to the ridiculous idea that there are TLM parishes and NO parishes.

  3. Your Fellow Catholic May 3, 2021 at 5:37 pm - Reply

    Vandalism isn’t new. Church vandalism isn’t new. Vandalism is increasing. Church vandalism is increasing.

    It’s quite sad. When I was a college student discerning whether or not to become a Catholic, I would often spend some time in the Cathedral praying with the Blessed Sacrament, which was literally across the street from my classrooms. As a young adult, when I travelled for work or vacation, I made it a point to pray and light a candle in a local Church in each of the cities I would visit.

    Regrettably, a decade or so later all the Churches became locked up during the day. At least in the US. I’ve never understood why volunteers couldn’t be marshalled to keep watch so that the doors could be open. They could even come their to work on their homework, or read a book or even work a crossword puzzle. They could be serving a religious act even while enjoying a secular activity.

    • Anonymous May 3, 2021 at 6:33 pm - Reply

      Society has deteriorated as liberalism has spread. You didn’t have to lock churches in the 50s. Just sayin.

    • Anonymous May 3, 2021 at 6:39 pm - Reply

      Your churches are locked during the day?
      I have found that occasionally but some churches leave just one door unlocked so people can come in and pray.

      • Your Fellow Catholic May 4, 2021 at 1:46 pm - Reply

        Yes, but i’m glad to hear yours aren’t. May I ask where you live?

        • Anonymous May 4, 2021 at 4:44 pm - Reply

          I live in the South. We have had some vandalism and thefts but they put in security cameras.

  4. Anonymous May 3, 2021 at 6:49 pm - Reply

    I hope everyone is praying the Rosary in May. There is a special Rosary “novena” for the end of Covid with daily intentions. Each day is streamed from a different shrine. Today is Our Lady of Czestochowa in Poland. Yesterday was from the Shrine of Jesus the Savior and Mother Mary in Nigeria. On May 4, it is will streamed from the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth. If you miss the livestream you can find them on Youtube.

    • Kevin T May 3, 2021 at 9:21 pm - Reply

      Shouldn’t that have been done a year ago? Wait… people did pray for an end to Covid a year ago and it didn’t work. Are people going to keep praying until the “pandemic” abates naturally, and then they’ll attribute it to prayer? I don’t get the appeal of watching the rosary or the chaplet on video, besides.

      • Anonymous May 5, 2021 at 12:36 am - Reply

        How distressing to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

        My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love Thee! I beg pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love Thee. Amen.

        O Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore Thee profoundly. I offer Thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifference by which He is offended. By the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg the conversion of poor sinners.

    • Anonymous May 4, 2021 at 1:49 am - Reply

      You can really see the opportunity we lost by abandoning Latin. I am not criticizing using the vernacular but if we had just made a small effort to teach 6 prayers in Latin the whole Catholic world would be able to pray in unison now.

      • Anonymous May 4, 2021 at 11:57 am - Reply

        If we taught those same 6 prayers in Klingon the whole world could pray in unison now.

        • Anonymous May 5, 2021 at 12:28 am - Reply

          Live long and prosper.

  5. bohemond May 4, 2021 at 6:13 am - Reply

    An individual set fire to my local parish where I was baptized, though I no longer attend mass there I have a certain affinity for my old parish. The guy who set the fire burned the altar but thanks to a quick responding FD it was quickly brought under control. The perp was apprehended but then sent to the mental hospital for observation, if this had been the other house of worship down the street from the parish, attended by “our elder brothers’ I can assure the hate crime investigation would be on going. My village went from a working class Catholic to something Cal-Cath will not print

  6. bohemond May 4, 2021 at 6:26 am - Reply

    These stories make me long for the old Catholic ethnic neighborhoods, where matters like these would have been handled by local underground associations and the perpetrators never heard from again..

  7. Nurse Cruz May 4, 2021 at 11:09 am - Reply

    Sadly, we could also attribute “attacks on the Catholic Church” to the freemasons conspiracy, atheists, the ACLU, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Protest-ants, the communists, etc. I see I left out the Jesuits.

    “Masonic Fraternity and Pope Francis…

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