New York, NY - Jack Chick’s anti-Catholic pamphlets were distributed in various New York City phone booths. The pamphlet is called “Last Rites” and described a practicing Catholic being condemned to Hell by Jesus because he believed in the “false teachings” of the Catholic Church.
Edison, NJ - Vandals desecrated a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church in Edison, NJ in the late evening or early morning. They smeared red paint on the statue as well as on the church’s stone steps and wooden door.
Washington, DC - In the controversy over pardons granted by President Bill Clinton at the end of his term, overlooked was the one granted to Mel Reynolds, the former Illinois congressman jailed in 1994 for having sex with a minor and solicitation of child pornography. A primary exhibit against Reynolds was a tape of an explicit phone conversation he had with an underage girlfriend. The former congressman proclaims his good luck at the prospect of engaging in a sexual threesome with his own girlfriend and a 15-year-old Catholic schoolgirl.
In Vanity Fair, actress Lara Flynn Boyle, the star of ABC’s “The Practice,” complained about her Catholic upbringing. She stated that she “got a terrible education from the nuns and the Jesuits” because they “kept flunking me and saying I wasn’t participating.” Boyle also stated that she “used to lie in the confessional all the time” and considered herself a “bastard” because her father had his first marriage annulled.
In Talk magazine, actress Heather Graham of “Austin Powers” movie fame blamed the Catholic Church for stifling her sex life when she was growing up. “Why do I have to do what all these men are saying?” Graham was quoted, and added, “Why is a woman’s sexuality supposed to be evil?”
Tucson, AZ - The historic San Xavier del Bac, a 203-year-old Catholic mission outside Tucson, was vandalized. Vandals smashed and spray-painted statues and walls. They also damaged a small adobe building that had served as the mortuary chapel. The gravesites of two priests buried inside the chapel in the 18th and 19th centuries were splattered with paint, and rosaries and photos were strewn about.
McMinnville, OR - Vandals at St. James Church destroyed a century-old statue of the Madonna. The pastor of the church, Father Tom Farley, called the act sacrilegious and said the congregation “felt personally violated.”
Pittsfield, MA - At Notre Dame Church, teenage vandals who had also trashed a Jewish cemetery burned a picture of Christ, tossed pieces of Communion wafers around the church, and left derogatory notes about Catholicism. Most of the guilty were arrested and charged with a hate crime.
Tucson, AZ - Vandals again struck San Xavier del Bac when three statues were broken. Later in the evening a statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe was found covered in motor oil and smoldering.
New York, NY - Vicious hate mail was sent to William Donohue over Catholic League protests of “Yo Mama’s Last Supper” at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. An obscene note included a self-made “postcard” with a drawing of a man performing oral sex on Christ nailed to the cross.
Lodi, CA - A booklet was sent to the Catholic League offices. Published by Manna Ministries, “Is the Virgin Mary Dead or Alive?” was written by a supposed former Catholic who attacked the Blessed Virgin Mary as a continuance of pagan Roman practices. The author identified the “Roman Catholic system” as “antichrist.”
Washington, DC - CNN founder Ted Turner stunned CNN employees in Washington on Ash Wednesday. Seeing ashes on the forehead of some workers, Turner said, “What are you? A bunch of Jesus freaks? You should be working for FOX.” When CNN corporate offices refused to confirm or deny that Turner made the statement, the Catholic League reminded media that in the past Turner had branded Christianity a religion for “losers,” labeled pro-life Christians as “Bozos,” made an ethnic joke at the expense of the pope at a pro-abortion meeting, and blasted Christianity as “very intolerant.” After the league statement was picked up by the media, Turner issued a statement of apology for his Ash Wednesday comments.
Topeka, KS - Vandals broke a life-sized marble statue of Christ located in Topeka’s Mount Calvary Cemetery.
New York, NY - Rabbi Mordechai Friedman spewed hate talk aimed at the pope, the Church and the Catholic League on public access television in New York. He has called the pope “a dumb Pollock” and a “stinking old cocker.” He has branded the Catholic League “Nazis.” Friedman also despises Jews with which he disagrees and said there is cause to “assassinate” the “evil” Senator Joseph Lieberman.
The Catholic League was attacked in hate mail for alleged hypocrisy. Noting that the League has questioned conduct during the Gay Pride March, an e-mail from “Virgin Kronch” said the league was “silent” about the Saint Patrick’s Day parade. It described the parade in honor of St. Patrick as “tens of thousands of people marching in the name of their Saint, who then get drunk and slosh all night, staggering, weaving, vomiting and urinating in public.” The note then complained about the banning of Irish gays and lesbians from the parade.
Pembroke Pines, FL - Arsonists tried to torch St. Edward’s Church. They broke into the church and did approximately $10,000 worth of damage before setting off the fire alarm.
New York, NY - A Catholic League member received a pamphlet from the Church of Cane Creek, Pleasantville, TN, that included a cartoon drawing of a nun and priest at the scourging of Christ as among the “religious in the crowd [who] spit into the blood that streamed down his face.”
Hemet, CA - As reported in the Hemet News, two statues were vandalized at St. Joseph’s Mission on the Sobada Indian Reservation. The two outdoor statues, one of Our Lady and one of St. Joseph, were beheaded. The heads were then stolen.
New York, NY - In response to the publication of an advertisement by the Catholic League in the April 16 edition of the New York Times defending Pope Pius XII, the Catholic League received the following hate mail (appearing just as it was submitted):
“The Nazis used 1500 years of Catholic and Protestant hatred, pogroms, Inquisitions, burnings, blood libels, to incite the smouldering hatred which culminated in the Holocaust…I as an American do not hate Catholics…But as for the church as an institution, I rank them up there with the worst purpurtrators of racial hatred and intolerance. Please save the ads to the Times trying to clean up the record of Pius when the other Popes throughout European history had as much blood on their hands as he did.”
“It took me a lifetime to figure out that Catholics are good, their moral teachings are good, but that the hierarchy is evil. Many of your popes and cardinals died with the blood of innocent people on their hands. It is an evil empire….Someday you will have to answer to your God for suppressing the evidence to further the cause of a worldly, wealthy, powerful organization that has no real ties to its people. An organization of powerful, geriatric men who answer to no one for anything they do.”
“An op-ed page…from the noted papist, William A. Donohue. Ad was riddled with lies distortions and misinformation. For your information, Pius XII was Hitler’s silent partner. He was in league with the Nazi’s and his actions are a shameful disgrace, but should not be surprising considering the treatment of the Jews and other religions by the Vatican over the centuries. But, rest assured that Pius XII is frying in hell, as will John Paul II when he joins him in the near future. We won’t get into the issue of Catholic priests molesting boys and apparently now raping nuns.”
“Your group’s love of human rights came only after your wings were clipped and claws removed. Now, with your temporal powers and responsibilities removed, you can engage in your high moral mindedness and lay your guilt trips on everyone.”
Lancaster, PA - An advertisement in the Lancaster News from the Evangelical Baptist Mission of Louisburg, N.C. attacked Catholic practices and beliefs concerning infant baptism. The advertisement called Catholic practices “an example of the PERVERSION that religious leaders make of the Scriptures.”
Sand Lake, NY - An ornate tabernacle containing the Holy Eucharist was stolen from St. Henry’s Church shortly before Palm Sunday. The tabernacle was valued at $10,000.
Taylor, MI - A plastic bomb exploded in a fourth-grade classroom at St. Paschel Elementary School. Two students suffered minor injuries. The bomb, which a student brought into the classroom, was one of two found in the school’s parking lot.
Bland County, VA - On Good Friday, a 4-foot, 400-pound concrete statue of Jesus was stolen from a private yard. The county sheriff, Melvin Cox, believed the theft was done “as a practical joke and it’s probably laying in a ditch somewhere.”
La Crescenta, CA - A life-sized crucifix at the altar of Saint James the Less Church was vandalized during Holy Week. In a break-in at the church, the statue of Jesus was stolen from the crucifix.
San Bernardino, CA - A teen was found guilty of stabbing her daughter to death moments after the infant’s birth. In a story in the San Bernardino Press-Enterprise, the teen’s attorney had argued for a lesser charge, saying the girl’s age “plus a strict Catholic upbringing” contributed as mitigating factors to the crime.
Canjilon, NM - Two juveniles were charged with causing more than $5,000 in damage to San Juan Nepomucene Church. A coalition of piano dealers established a fund to provide one-time grants of up to $500 to houses of worship damaged or defaced by hate crimes.
Fillmore, NY - A group called Most Holy Family Monastery released a booklet called “A Voice Crying in the Wilderness.” The text refers to Pope John Paul II as “Antipope” and claims he preaches the “gospel of the antichrist.”
Montgomery County, MD - Robert Lucas was found guilty of second-degree murder in the death of Monsignor Thomas Wells. During the trial, the defense tried to assert that Lucas killed Monsignor Wells in a maelstrom of rage and humiliation after the priest assaulted him sexually. In closing arguments, Montgomery County State’s Attorney Douglas F. Gasler said, “The defense played on the most rank stereotype, promoting the anti-Catholic, anti-clerical notion that all priests are homosexual predators. Never mind the fact that there was not one scintilla of credible proof offered to support such a theory.”
San Rafael, CA - Opening for the musical act “The Righteous Brothers” was comedian Brian Copeland at the Marin Center. On the topic of Catholicism, he ridiculed the missalettes at Mass, saying “they” didn’t want people reading the Bible for themselves. Copeland asserted Catholicism is a cafeteria-style religion where you pick and choose what you want to believe, and “forget all that birth control stuff.”
Ronkonkoma, NY - Two 14-year-old boys were charged with a hate crime for allegedly vandalizing a Catholic Church in their neighborhood. On May 10, they scribbled anti-religious slogans on a trailer on the grounds of St. Joseph’s Church, according to police. On May 16 they allegedly returned, throwing candleholders from the church into the woods. They also damaged the church sprinkler system and yelled “Satan Rules” at a church worker, according to police.
The Catholic League received the following message on the feedback section of its website (it appears exactly as written): “I think your objection to the [Lipton] onion dip is totally ridiculous! Your belief that the eucharist is really the body of Christ is even funnier. Just proves that you don’t believe that what Jesus did for us all on the cross was good enough once and for all. Of course the Catholic Church is more pagan than it is Christian-apostate to the core (I’ve seen pictures of the Poop kissing statues of the virgin mary). What a load of idol worship that is!! If you really care to find out what God really thinks of your religion, see Revelation 17!! For me, I’ll choose a relationship with the Creator of the Universe over your power-mongering manmade system any day.”
Boca Raton, FL - Writing in the Boca Raton/Delray Beach News, Mr. Richard Busemeyer demanded the sterilization of Catholic male clergy. He wrote, “It seems only fair this all male body of clergy, who are so very dedicated in their determination over the bodies of women, should show their dedication by requiring all priests, bishops and cardinals, etc., to become sterilized in keeping with their required vows of chastity. After all, with that vow of chastity, they have no need for sexual capability and would also be less likely to molest small boys.”
San Diego, CA - St. Charles Catholic Church in Egger Highlands was the object of both arson and vandalism. Witnesses said four people in ski masks drove away from the scene after splashing flammable liquid on the side of the Church. A statue of the Virgin Mary was also damaged. Total damage was estimated at $10,000.
Fort Reading, NJ - Cornerstone Publishing of Rice, WA bulk mailed the booklet titled Earth’s Final Warning to Catholic households in the Fort Reading area. The booklet made the usual “Earth’s Final Warning” claims: that the Catholic Church was the “Whore of Babylon” and part of a conspiracy to take over the world.
Temperance, MI - Vandals inflicted thousands of dollars in damage to the cemetery at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church. Individual grave sites and religious artwork owned by the parish were vandalized. Damage included a large tombstone, worth about $8,000, that was broken in half; two missing Stations of the Cross valued at $10,000; and a $5,000 fiberglass statue of Jesus.
Philadelphia, PA - Aldo J. Muniz was sentenced to 21 months in prison for threatening to kill Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua and members of a Roman Catholic social services agency. Muniz pleaded guilty to charges of making telephone threats to kill workers at the social agency Casa del Carmen, to blow up St. Henry’s Church in Philadelphia and to kill the city’s archbishop.
Canton, MI - Jamal Saba erected a 5-foot statue of the Virgin Mary on the front lawn of his new $500,000 house. The statue was part of a $10,000 landscaping job that included a trellis. A neighbor, David Brooks, complained to the homeowners’ association about the religious nature of the statue. Subsequently, the head of the association’s architectural committee claimed the statue was too big and did not have the committee’s approval. Press reports indicated many of the residents in the association had fixtures of one type or another on their lawns—fountains, ceramic animals, etc.—and none had the approval of the homeowners’ association. Mr. Saba took his case to court.
Duluth, MN - Mr. William Lamppa, in a letter to the editor in the Duluth News Tribune, used the debate over stem cell research to launch into a diatribe against the Catholic Church. Among his accusations were: “…from the 4th through the 20th centuries, the Church of Rome shed more blood than any other institution…[the Church] jailed, tortured and burned at the stake an estimated 20 million innocent men, women and children.” He then returned to the stem cell debate by saying, “[stem cell research] pales in resemblance to what the Church of Rome did in the past to living human beings on such a monumental scale.”
Brandywine Hundred, DE - Fire destroyed a church rectory and seriously injured the pastor. The state fire marshal said the blaze was deliberately set. Church pastor Father James T. Kirk was asleep in the rectory when the blaze was set at about 3 am. He escaped the flames by crawling through a door that led to a courtyard. The fire caused $125,000 in damage.
Columbia, SC - Midnight Call Ministries sent out a mailing offering a new book called When Catholics Die, Eternal Life or Eternal Damnation? by Richard Noll. The accompanying letter said the book does not “condemn, bash or speak in a careless manner about the Catholic Church….[But rather] through the distribution of this book, God will deliver souls from the bondage of man-centered theology.”
Lancaster, SC - An inter-denominational quilting group was working at their craft at St. Catherine’s Catholic Church when they decided to order pizza. The pizza was delivered along with comic book-like tracts with titles such as, “Are Roman Catholics Christians?” Others linked the Church to pagan rituals and said Satan created the Catholic Mass. Laura Laleugher, who is Catholic, took the pizza back to Fox’s Pizza Den. She received an apology and a refund from the owners.
Jesse Gay, the employee who included the booklets with the pizza, said he meant no harm and that handing out the anti-Catholic tracts was his personal mission. His employers forbade Gay from passing out any more pamphlets.
Virginia Beach, VA - A statue of the Virgin Mary was vandalized outside Star of the Sea Church. It was knocked over and the head was severed—it was found a foot away. The statue, valued at $6,000, weighed 500 pounds and would have required two people and a moving dolly to move it. Parish manager Jean Choplinsky said, “Whoever did this had to be really angry, with a lot of adrenaline running.”
Within hours of the terrorist attack on New York City and the Pentagon, an anonymous writer to the Catholic League’s website left this feedback (appearing just as it was submitted):
“People like you and your fat priests, bishops and popes are as responsible as the terrorists who bombed the WTC. You and your bull—- god has done nothing for the human race except create, hatred, polarization, pain, suffering guilt and the right to kill other human beings for your stupid fanasty called jesus and mary. Who the f— cares about god except for all you a——- who make a living making other people miserable. I’m sure the pope and all the great cardinals will feel oh so bad. Ttotal b——-. What don’t you put your energy into things that support life instead of your bull—- after life crap. ALL REGIGION SHOULD BE OUTLAWED FOR THE GOOD AND FUTURE OF MANKIND.”
Charlottesville, WV - A booklet called Born Free! Liberty; how long? was distributed outside a Sam’s Club/Wal-Mart store. The booklet is a diatribe against the Catholic Church including, “A religion of externals is attractive to the unrenewed heart. The pomp of the catholic [sic] worship has a seductive, bewitching power, by which many are deceived: and they come to look upon the Roman Church as the very gate of heaven.” When a customer complained, officials at the stores asked the people handing out the booklet to stop.
The following message was written in the feedback section of the Catholic League website (appearing just as it was submitted):
“Stop spreading your propaganda. You are no better than the Nazis. Must I remind you of the church’s platform of ‘Non envolvement’ in the holocaust. You idiots were probably happy to see your biggest competitor (the jews) reduced in numbers. Children can be raised with good morals without filling their heads with lies. I am a perfectly moral citizen, raised without the influence of your archaic institution. In this day and age science has the potential to explain the complexities of the Universe properly. The Holy bible is a half-a—- attempt to explain existence. THE EASY ANSWER to put it bluntly. You people make me sick. P.S. Since God doesn’t exist, that would make Jesus either a liar or a raving lunatic. Son of god my a–!! Also that would make Mary ‘the village whore’ not a virgin. I bet she cooked up that story to keep Joseph from beating her a—when he discovered how loose she really was.”
Haverill, MA - Vandals smashed statues at Sacred Heart and St. James parishes. Police treated the incidents as hate crimes. A statue of Jesus on the front lawn at Sacred Heart Parish was found with its hands knocked off and face smashed. At St. James Parish the head of a St. Patrick statue was knocked off its body. Damaged was estimated at more than $10,000.
A day later, a 39-year-old man was arrested and charged with the crime. Police say he had a history of mental problems.
Idaho Springs, CO - Vandals broke windows and painted swastikas and other obscenities on the walls of the Church of St. John. The church, located off popular biking and hiking trails, lets hitchhikers and backpackers spend the night in sleeping bags in the pews. Church officials said the open door policy will continue.
The Catholic League launched an advertising campaign aimed at adding new members to the organization. The television ad appeared on the cable news and debate shows “Hardball with Chris Matthews” on MSNBC, and “The O’Reilly Factor” and “Hannity and Colmes” on the FOX News Channel. The 1-800 number service the league retained reported that its operators (who field calls for many different organizations) had never heard such obscene hate calls as the ones they took from those who objected to the league ad. The league received obscene hate calls in its New York office as well.
Fresno, CA - A book called National Sunday Law: A Shocking Glimpse Behind the Scenes by A. Jan Marcussen was mass mailed in the Fresno area. The book is filled with anti-Catholic rhetoric including allegations that the pope is the anti-Christ, is responsible for the deaths of millions of Christians and is part of a conspiracy to take over the world.
Storm Lake, LA - The pamphlet titled Earth’s Final Warning was mass mailed in the Storm Lake area by Cornerstone Publishing. Among other things, it alleges the Catholic Church is the “Whore of Babylon” and that the papacy is involved in a conspiracy with the United States to establish a “new world order.”
New York, NY - Leslie Wright, the team coordinator of the New York group that represents the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) at the United Nations, helped the notoriously anti-Catholic group Catholics for a Free Choice (CFFC) recruit new workers. Wright passed along job descriptions and openings to a list of e-mail addresses while working for WAGGgS; Girl Scouts USA is a member of WAGGGS. Girl Scouts officials defended Ms. Wright saying she was merely passing along an e-mail message concerning the opening at CFFC. The two said the Girl Scouts were “an inclusive group.” When asked by the Catholic League whether they were aware that CFFC is an expressly anti-Catholic group, they said they “were not religion experts.”
Barrington, RI - The annual Blithewold Mansion, Gardens and Arboretum fund-raiser featured a costume contest. The Alan Nathan family of Barrington came dressed as a friar, a nun, the devil and a pregnant nun. The event was featured prominently in the Providence Sunday Journal “Society” section.
West Valley City, UT - A spate of vandalism and burglaries at area churches and other holy sites included two Catholic churches, St. Peter’s and St. Paul’s Catholic churches in West Valley City. Vandals made off with $400 after they shattered windows, broke locks and candles and scattered vestments about the sacristy. A Book of the Gospels kept near the altar was singed by flames.
Bloomington, WI - St. Mary’s Catholic school was the target of four break-ins over a short period of time. Each time a computer was used to view adult websites. Police believe a group of boys aged 14 to 17 were responsible.
Los Angeles, CA - Police arrested a 35-year-old man charging him with a string of vandalism against several Catholic churches in Los Angeles. Police said Emad Ibrahim Saad, a member of the King Fahd mosque, acted alone. The vandalism included attacks on statues of the Virgin Mary. Fahd allegedly left Islamic literature at the churches including flyers that read, “Allah is the only one true God.”
New York, NY - Complaints came in to New York gossip columnist Liz Smith regarding the “Christmas Spectacular” at Radio City Music Hall. The complaints were regarding the religious nature of a nativity scene at the end of the show.
Plano, TX - The publication Proclaiming the Gospel by evangelist Mike Gendron is filled with slurs against the Catholic Church. Among the charges: “Roman Catholicism has also offered spiritual inducements to those who put Christians to death. There are one billion Roman Catholics who have been blinded by Satan. Many are on the wide road that leads to destruction and are unaware of the horrors that await them.”