In May 2020, the Committee on Religious Freedom of the United States Conference of Bishops began recording incidents of arson, vandalism, and other destruction of Catholic sites in the United States. On Sunday, October 10, there was an unfortunate memory: the hundredth such incident occurred, the Conference of Bishops announced in a statement on Thursday.
Satanic and other haters were painted graffiti before Sunday mass at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Denver, Colorado. US bishops issued a written statement condemning the events as “acts of hate”.
Looking at the past 100 cases, they explain: “These incidents of vandalism have ranged from tragic to outrageous, from transparent to inexplicable. There is still a lot we don’t know about this phenomenon, but they at least confirm that our society is in dire need of God’s grace” .
Of course, bishops do not take revenge on the perpetrators. Instead, they feel compelled to “communicate with them with prayer and forgiveness” and get any misunderstandings out of the way. “It is true that if the motive is to avenge a wrong in the past, then we must reconcile. We need to clarify when a misunderstanding of our teachings has provoked anger on us. But this destruction must stop. This is not the right way.”
Therefore, the bishops are grateful that law enforcement authorities “investigate these incidents and take appropriate measures to prevent further harm.” All members of the Catholic community are invited to help and contribute to the fight against church vandalism. Because: “It is not only about property crimes, but about the deterioration of the visible signs of our Catholic faith.”
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