A report by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee for Religious Liberty claimed that there have been at least 95 incidents of vandalism of Catholic churches across the United States since May 2020. Incidents include arson, the destruction of statues, and the defacement of church buildings and gravestones with swastikas and anti-Catholic language.
(Louisville Police Department, Facebook / @elpasodiocese, Instagram)
The report referenced 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.
“We are definitely concerned that there is a pattern of hate crimes against Catholics,” said Msgr. Anthony Hernandez, the moderator of the curia for the diocese, in a statement following the attacks.
“Our nation finds itself in an extraordinary hour of cultural conflict,” Archbishops Wenski and Coakley wrote, Catholic News agency reported.