San Jose, CA — Vandals struck a synagogue, defacing the house of worship with a swastika and anti-Semitic graffiti. Only then was it reported that a statue in the town of Carmel was defaced with anti-Catholic graffiti a week prior.
Brooklyn, NY — A statue of Pope Pius X was dragged from the Knights of Columbus hall, thrown into the gutter and smashed. A note taped onto the mutilated statue read that Pope John Paul II “is Satan who deceives the earth.”
Brooklyn, NY — Incidents of vandalism at Roman Catholic Churches in Brooklyn continued, bringing the number to six since last fall. The Catholic League contacted the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office, the FBI and the U.S. Justice Department. To help defray the costs of restoration, the league sent $500 each to St. Jerome’s, Our Lady of Refuge, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Fortunata, Apostles of Infinite Love Convent and St. Rita’s. An arrest was made in the vandalism cases May 16. Police arrested Primus St. Croix of Brooklyn, the spiritual leader of a group of local Rastafarians. He said the attack on the statue of Pope Pius X was motivated in part by a documentary he had seen about Pius XII.
Comedian George Carlin, saying he was raised a Catholic, promoted his role in the movie “Dogma” in which he played a cynical cardinal. Carlin said, “I always like taking a good, clean shot at the Catholic Church and the movie certainly was that.”
The Catholic League received a startling amount of text in the “feedback” section of the League website. The message was the phrase, “HAIL HITLER HAIL PIUS.” It was written more than 416,000 times.
Fort Wayne, IN — A vandal hit St. Paul’s Church in downtown Fort Wayne, damaging statues, stained-glass windows, the altar, crucifixes and candles. Thirty-seven year old Thomas L. Braddock of Warsaw, Indiana was on afternoon leave from a 72-hour detention when he wandered into the church according to police. He faces charges in the incident.
Buffalo, NY — Father Arthur J. Mattulke of St. Margaret’s Church was beaten with a cross and stabbed with a holy water sprinkler by a man who said he wanted to kill the priest. Fr. Mattulke was assaulted not long after the front doors of the church were opened for morning Mass.
Spring, TX — The Spring Church of Christ (nondenominational) offered a four-day long series of seminars “investigating what your bible has to say about Catholics.” The lecture titles included “False Miracles of the Catholic Church,” “The Confessional and Its Abuses,” “The Syllabus of Errors of Pius IX.”
The Catholic League received e-mail through the league website that read, “Does Cardinal ‘The Criminal’ O’Connor deserve this nation’s highest civilian honor. No friggin (sic) way. He should be sent back to Ireland with all of you Irish criminals.”
Actor Rupert Everett, in an interview in Salon, talked about religion in general and the Catholic Church in particular. Everett said about his religious education that he has “managed to get myself through the whole hideous guilt the Catholic Church puts you through.” He says he is no longer Catholic because “that’s like being a gay Republican.” And finally, Everett told the magazine he “believes the whole Eucharist and wine turning into the body and blood of Christ thing is a crock.”
Middletown, NY — Statues outside St. Francis Xavier Church were attacked by vandals. One, depicting the Sacred Heart of Jesus, was dressed up as an American Indian with headdress and bow and arrow. A statue of St. Francis Xavier was dressed as a cowboy with a toy gun taped to the crucifix in his hand.
Walterboro, SC — A publication called Overcomer published by the Faith Cathedral Fellowship, Inc. contained a section called “Sister Charlotte’s Testimony.” The narrative read in part, “We are taught that the priests are God’s representatives here on earth and since we are married to Christ, it is quite alright for us to bear the priests’ children. I can remember one night when 28 babies were born in the Convent.” And the article claimed, “All the priests who have left the Catholic faith and all the ex-Bishops who have left the Bishophood (sic) of the Catholic Church agree 90% of the priests are sex perverts.” The article concluded, “We found out after this article was printed that Sister Charlotte was killed by the Catholic Church.”
June 5 – 8
The Catholic League received a barrage of hate mail on its website following an advertisement it placed in the New York Times about the Beijing +5 conference at the United Nations. The hate mail included :
· “You really hated and feared your Mother’s power, eh? that she was able to do what you can never do. You truly hate women, don’t you? You want POWER, you hateful and powerless little person: to CONTROL women’s exercise of power you cannot and will never have.”
· “For some strange reason, which I have not been able to figure out, the Church has it in for women; they have this burning desire to control us. To tell us who we must be (mothers) and where our place is in society (submissive, second-class citizens).”
· “I must add also that I find it appalling that an organization which excludes women entirely from its governing body has any right to tell women how they should treat their bodies or be considered a country. Your ‘sexual ethics’ are a farce, it is time the Roman Catholic Church moved into the twenty-first century.”
· “Your ad was totally offensive, as usual, as you people are offensive.”
· “You should call yourselves the League of Catholic Nazis.”
· “I don’t see that the Holy See has taken care of its people, but everything seems to be aimed at taking care of the princes of the Church, the bishop, the cardinals and the popes.”
Columbus, OK — Members of the Ohio Bible Fellowship passed a resolution condemning what they called the “false gospels of the Catholic Church.” The fellowship, made up of 15 churches in Ohio, also called the pope “an anti-Christ” and declared Pope John Paul II “heads a church that…is leading millions of people right into hell through false doctrine.” Fellowship leaders said the resolution was in response to the negative publicity received by Bob Jones University when their anti-Catholic teachings were in the media spotlight.
The Catholic League received feedback through its website regarding the World Gay Pride event held in Rome. The writer said, “John Paul ordered a printed document back in 1987 that said no one, not even the Church, should be surprised when people react violently against Gay (sic) people…So John Paul does not like Queer (sic) people meeting in Rome when he has a Holy Year. It would be well for him to be confronted with his sin of homophobia…
Rome, Italy — At the conclusion of the World Gay Pride event in Rome, a concert was held featuring former Spice Girl Gerri Halliwell. While performing, Halliwell according to the Sun newspaper, “cavorted half-naked with a dancer dressed as the pope in front of 70,000-strong Gay Pride crowd in Rome.”
The Catholic League received feedback through its website about the book Papal Sin by Garry Wills. It read, in part, “…Bishop Ziemann, the buffoon bishop of Santa Rosa, California, who ordained his boyfriend and then when (sic) to bankrupt his diocese to the tune of between $15 and $20 million.”
The Catholic League received feedback from its website than read, “It strikes me as the ultimate in hypocrisy when a group calls itself the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights. What has the Catholic Church done since its inception? I’ll tell you: It’s TAKEN AWAY the religious and civil rights of anyone not willing to join it. The history of the Catholic Church makes Hitler’s Nazis look like Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. The Catholic Church has slaughtered far more people in the name of the Lord than the Nazis did in the name of Hitler! And then there are the rapes, sexual abuse, and other physical abuse performed with glee by priests, nuns and others throughout the years in schools and orphanages. It’s evil. I wish I could see the day when it finally all crumbles to the ground and people on earth can once again go about their lives without the stench of Catholicism in their midst.”
Billerica, MA — Vandals desecrated St. Theresa’s Church before trying to burn it down. Police in Billerica said satanic slurs and anti-Christian messages were spray painted on the outside walls of the church. The phrases included: “Kill you, your God and your daughters,” “Kill the Christians” and “666” among others. There were also pictures of an upside down crucifix. Officials said an attempt was also made to set the building on fire in two places in the rear of the church.
North Port, FL — A little girl had been practicing to sing Kum Ba Yah at the North Port Boys and Girls Club talent show. She was barred from singing the night of the event because the song repeats the word “Lord.” Her parents were informed that there might be complaints if children heard a religious song at a non-sectarian event. A camp official warned, “You have to check your religion at the door.”
Cromwell, CT — Thirty parishioners of St. John’s Church arrived for Mass one morning and found their church vandalized. The phrases “Satan is coming” and “Satan rules” were spray painted on the outside walls. The number “666” was scrawled across the front door.
September – October
The Catholic League received a series of hate messages on the feedback section of catholicleague.org. Among the messages were, “How come you bead-mumblers hate the Jews so much? You must not pay too much attention to what Jesus said. P.S. Dogma was a great movie.” Another wrote, “Dear Pope lovers. I see you defended that worthless creep Pope Pius IX. That figures. Not only was that Pope anti-Jewish and a kidnapper and a terrorist, he was also anti-Protestant. He was anti-freedom. He was a bum as is the current scumbag who wears that long white dress. If you love the Pope, then you can’t love the USA, its (sic) one of the other.”
Syracuse, NY — Two brothers, ages 9 and 10, were charged with arson for allegedly setting fire to a statue of the Virgin Mary inside Immaculate Conception Church. The brothers were accused of putting lit candles on the lap of the statue. They were caught by a maintenance worker.
Brooklyn, NY — Primus St. Croix , an illegal alien, pleaded guilty to destroying five religious statues in the Brooklyn, NY diocese. St. Croix was subsequently sentenced to five years probation. The Catholic League secured the help of Senator Charles Schumer of New York for a federal probe of the case under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrance (FACE) act. The law, aimed at protecting access to abortion clinics, also makes it unlawful to intentionally damage the property of a place of religious worship. The day before St. Croix was given probation for desecrating Catholic statues, a man who smeared white paint over a dung and pornography-laden portrait of the Virgin Mary at the Brooklyn Art Museum was told he could face a year in jail.
Ann Arbor, MI — Footballs fans at the University of Michigan held a special pre-game “baptism” for news fans. Fans dressed up as clergy and nuns. The event was described in the local newspaper: “‘Blessed are those who root for Michigan,’ said six-foot Sister Blue, a.k.a. Jim Manser…Then, decked in a black suit acquired from a Halloween store and a maize and blue block M substituted for a cross, Father M read from a prayer book. Moving right along, Father M listed the beatitudes according to U-M fans: ‘Blessed are those who give up Sundays…”
Chesapeake, MD — Seventy three crosses were planted by Father Thomas Flowers of St. Rome of Lima Church and a local Knights of Columbus council in memory of those aborted. The crosses, erected at a prominent roadside, were all vandalized.
The Catholic League was inundated with hate mail after the October 23, 2000 ad appeared in the New York Times countering “Catholics Speak Out.” Among the comments received on the feedback section of the Catholic League’s website:
· A non-Catholic from New York wrote accusing the Catholic League of fostering “hate, bigotry, and violence” and
recommended that the Catholic League read Garry Wills’ Papal Sin.
· Patricia von Hippel of New Jersey said the advertisement reminded her of why she left the Church.
· Roger M. Poor called the Catholic League “intolerant,” “narrow-minded,” and “regressive.”
· Roy Hubbard said that if the Catholic League had its way the Church would still be burning Protestants, Jews and heretics.
· An anonymous contributor wrote, “Talk about a paid ad from political propagandists, who elected William Donohue
· Mr. Tom Bunn, a therapist, wrote that while he objects to people who are anti-Catholic, he applauds people who are against what the Catholic League considers Catholic. He wrote that the “dogmatism, intollerance (sic) expressed in this ad is evil, anti-Christian, and against what Christ’s life was about.”
· Joe Miles of Atlanta, GA., who identifies himself as a former Catholic, wrote that the Catholic League ad is “a classic illustration of anti-Catholic bias” and that the Catholic League ad was a “deliberate, calculated lie.”
Long Island, NY — Rabbi Mordechai Friedman appeared on public access television in Nassau County. He called the pope “a dumb Pollack” among other disparaging remarks. Rabbi Friedman is the same rabbi who called the murder of Yitzhak Rabin, “and act of the almighty” and more recently, saying there is cause to assassinate the “evil” Joseph Lieberman.
Bucks County, GA — Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Middletown was struck by vandals at least eight times over the past ten months. The church lost $35,000 worth of windows, doors and lights. Fr. Myron Badnerosky said, “I cannot comprehend why someone would want to do this, unless they had something against God or his Church.”
Winona Ryder, the actress who played a Catholic woman out to destroy the Antichrist in the movie “Lost Souls” said that “it’s incredibly abusive to tell children that there’s a devil and that if you do something wrong, you’re going to burn in hell. That’s a horrible thing to tell a child, and that’s my main problem with Catholicism.” The actress, raised by an atheist father and a Buddhist mother on a commune in Northern California, added that, “I don’t believe in the devil; I believe in mental illness.”
North Shelby County, AL — Vandals struck Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church breaking windows, furniture and an antique cello. Books were thrown about, property and money stolen.
Anchorage, AL — At Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church, vandals stole the church sound system and two rugs, separated the main altar from its footing, fractured a baptismal basin and smashed a wooden sacristy in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel.
Clifton, NJ — Explaining that she was protesting the plight of the homeless, Joan C. Boyle burned a cross on the property of St. Brendan Catholic Church. She was charged with desecration of a venerated object under the state’s bias crime statute.
North County, CA — Self-described missionaries distributed anti-Catholic religious tracts from Chick Publications to North County high school students near their schools. Bill Abbott of the West Coast Baptist Church—not affiliated with other Baptist churches or organizations—said his congregation has 200,000 tracts on hand in 120 versions.
Eau Claire, WI — The section of the Leader-Telegram newspaper that lists religious services contained an advertisement from the Eau Clare Gospel Center written by its pastor, Dan Stanley. Entitled, “The Gospel,” the ad stated the Catholic Church “has utterly perverted the Gospel…and you that are in Catholicism must flee from it….And let all that name the name of Christ openly expose and oppose this arrogant erroneous claim and teaching by the one they call the pope.”
Boca Raton, FL — Residents of Boca Raton received a mailing from Cornerstone Publishing entitled “Earth’s Final Warning.” The booklet featured Pope John Paul II and President Bill Clinton on the cover and contained anti-Catholic material regarding the Church’s teaching on nearly every subject.
San Jose, CA — In the San Jose Mercury News, Kit Hamilton of the Morgan Hill Community Alliance claimed that the Catholic Church teaches that “AIDS and HIV are God’s curses on people who behave inappropriately.”
A group named Inspiration Books East of Lemison, AL published a booklet called What’s Behind the New World Order. The booklet called the Catholic Church “Pagan Rome,” and assaulted every Catholic teaching, the Mass, worship of Mary and the pope.
Walnut Creek, CA — A controversy dubbed “the Crèche Crisis” erupted at the Rossmoor retirement community. Some members of the 9,000 resident community objected to the tradition of placing a nativity scene at the entrance to the development. Resident Robert Parks said the display was “audacious and presumptuous” and that he “think[s] the crèche violates the sensibilities of many people.”
Cincinnati, OH — Christmas as a legal holiday was challenged in court by Ohio attorney Richard Ganulin. Ganulin argued before the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals that a national holiday for Christmas violates the constitutional separation of church and state. A lower court had thrown out Ganulin’s case.