Catholic Church Begins Tracking Rising Vandalism P-admin Atheist Republic

Read More Atheist Republic The US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) began tracking vandalism and other forms of attacks on Catholic sites across the country. Aaron Weldon of the Office of Religious Liberty of the USCCB said the attacks on the historic Catholic sites were “the impetus for us to start monitoring these sorts of events.”
The USCCB created a dedicated section on their website that lists all the incidents of vandalism and other forms of attacks on Catholic sites. According to the website, the USCCP has recorded at least 111 incidents across 29 states since May 2020. As of the writing of this article, the last recorded incident happened at the St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral in Chicago, IL, on November 9, 2021.
Weldon said that most of the vandalism they have documented happens to the statues of Jesus Christ or the Virgin Mary. “When you’re talking about a statue being smashed, it’s kind of hard to know what’s going on. There’s not really a message there,” Weldon said. He also speculated that the visibility of Catholic religious symbols is making them an easy target.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York and Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma issued a joint statement, calling for dialogues, even welcoming the perpetrators to discuss their message for the Catholic church. “We must reach out to the perpetrators with prayer and forgiveness,” their joint statement said. “Where misunderstanding of our teachings has caused anger toward us, we must offer clarity; but this destruction must stop,” they added.
Contrary to their joint statement, Cardinal Dolan, seemingly oblivious to the offenses committed by the Catholic church, candidly asks, “We preach love! Why do some hate us?” Without acknowledging that there are real and life-changing reasons behind these attacks are happening.
Despite the USCCB’s efforts to document the attacks on Catholic sites, the group has not formally addressed the cause of the issue. The USCCB’s leadership, instead, pointed fingers saying these are “troubled individuals crying out for help or agents of hate seeking to intimidate.” Adding that these attacks signify that the “society [is] in need of healing,” without looking into internal affairs that may have pushed these individuals.
Aside from sites and statues vandalized with various hateful messages, other incidents listed by the USCCB included arson, religious statues that are beheaded, mutilated, and shattered; defaced gravestones, and other forms of property damage.
Weldon added that the incidents point to specific issues such as the past treatment of indigenous people, the church’s stance on abortion, and the sexual abuse scandals perpetrated by their priests. “We’re kind of working on learning more about what’s going on,” he added.
Brian Levin, the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism director at California State University, San Bernardino, has more statistical take. Levin points to the comparably higher number of Catholic sites all over the US” Catholics are the most represented religious faith in the US,” he added.
Aside from the statistical angle, Levin also referred to the fact that the current president is a Catholic. As a sitting Catholic president, Joe Biden “makes Catholicism more covered generally, as well as conflicts within the particular faith,” Levin explained.