New York, NY – Two 20-year-olds and an 18-year-old were arrested for allegedly stealing statues of the Baby Jesus from nativity scenes over a two-year period. Police said they would not charge them with hate crimes; the three were each charged with 14 counts of petty larceny. Around the same time, a 20-year-old was charged with a hate crime for allegedly kicking a menorah and faced seven years in prison. The bias in hate crime enforcement means inequality as far as who is considered a victim of a hate crime.
Columbus, OH – Parishioners at Christ the King Catholic Church stopped two people who attempted to rob worshippers during Mass. The thieves entered the church with a handgun and said, “This is a robbery.” After stealing a woman’s purse and a man’s wallet, the thieves tried to leave but parishioners detained them until police arrived.
New Orleans, LA – Chris Rose, a staff writer for the New Orleans Times-Picayune, was King and Chief Warden of the infamously anti-Catholic parade “Krewe du Vieux.” Rose turned down a request by the Archdiocese of New Orleans asking him to address the parade’s past mockery of the Catholic Church. In a February 6 column, after he had participated in the parade, Rose wrote that he agreed with the archdiocese’s criticism of the parade but said that the “krewe members” had the right to “express themselves in any way they see fit.” In the same column Rose admitted that he would not allow his children to watch the parade.
West New York, NJ – A marble statue of Jesus was decapitated and knocked over outside Our Lady of Libera Roman Catholic Church.
New Orleans, LA – Two women who called themselves “Angry Little Sisters of the Apocalypse” walked around the French Quarter dressed in nuns’ habits with camouflage capes. The women carried rulers with the words “weapons of mass instruction” written on them, as well as weapons called “novena bombs” and “rapid-fire rosaries.”
Santa Fe, NM – The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi was evacuated during Ash Wednesday Mass when three CD players duct-taped to the bottom of pews began blaring foul language and pornographic references. Parishioners removed the CD players and called police, who sent the bomb squad to investigate.
South Ozone Park, NY – A man was charged with attacking a priest outside St. Anthony of Padua Church with a cane. The assailant had been released from prison 11 days earlier after serving time for setting fire to the same church.
Omaha, NE – A painting of the Virgin Mary called “The Virgin Immaculata,” valued at $100,000, was stolen from St. Cecilia Cathedral.
Port Richey, FL – Palm Sunday Mass at St. James the Apostle Church was interrupted when expletives could be heard coming from the church’s sound system. The disturbance occurred as parishioners were taking part in the solemn Palm Sunday procession at the start of Mass. A group of teenagers were believed to be responsible.
Baton Rouge, LA – Vandals spray-painted vulgarities and Satanic symbols on a crucifix, a statue of Mary, and a wall at St. Joseph Cathedral on Holy Thursday. The crucifix and the statue of Mary date back to the 1880s.
Warren, MI – Two men, both 21, were arraigned on charges of spray-painting “Arabs die” and other anti-Arab messages on the outside of St. Mary’s Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church. The men were charged with ethnic intimidation and malicious destruction of property.
Miami, FL – Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda, an American cult leader who calls himself the “Anti-Christ,” cancelled a trip to Guatemala after the country barred his entry, saying he provoked conflict with Catholics and evangelical Christians. Miranda preaches that sin and the devil do not exist, and that his teachings supercede those of Jesus. His followers disrupted Catholic Good Friday processions in Miami, and in the past have destroyed Rosaries and statues of the Virgin Mary.
Memphis, TN – Three people were arrested after allegedly breaking into the Diocese of Memphis offices. The three were charged with vandalism, theft of cash and desecration of the diocesan headquarters’ chapel.
Bronx, NY – For the third time in a month, a statue of Jesus was vandalized outside St. Martin of Tours Church. The statue was found half-smashed, with “devil” and “666″ written on it with a black marker. On April 23, the statue was knocked down and damaged. On Good Friday, April 6, the statue was pried off its pedestal and tossed on the ground.
New Castle, IN – A 33-year-old man was arrested after a fire burned down St. Anne’s Catholic Church five weeks earlier. The man was charged with setting the fire in order to cover up a break-in. The church had been built in 1924.
Middletown, NY – A woman participating in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament was sexually assaulted by a man in a pew at St. Joseph’s Church. The attack was caught on the church’s security camera. The man fled after the woman fought him off by stabbing him with a pen
Lexington, KY – Vandals pulled up flagstones in a garden at Pax Christi Catholic Church and broke them. Stones were also pulled out of a dry-laid wall forming one side of the columbarium, where people’s ashes are laid to rest. It was the third time in the past year that the church had been vandalized.
Cape Coral, FL – A statue of Jesus outside St. Katherine Drexel Church was knocked over and damaged.
Cooperstown, NY – A statue of Mary outside St. Mary’s Church was knocked to the ground. It was replaced with a smaller statue and a sign that read, “We forgive.”
Westwood, CA – Two men were sentenced to federal prison terms for burning a cross in front of the home of a Catholic priest from Rwanda. One man, 21, was sentenced to two years; his 18-year-old accomplice was sentenced to one year and nine months. The older man said he committed the crime because he hates black people.
St. Louis, MO – Vandals toppled over 100 headstones at Sts. Peter and Paul Cemetery. A section where priests are buried was particularly hard-hit, with over a dozen granite crosses knocked down.
Windsor Heights, IA – An e-mail was circulated urging evangelicals to support Mike Huckabee of Arkansas for president over Sam Brownback; Huckabee is an evangelical, and Brownback is Roman Catholic. The e-mail’s author, Rev. Tim Rude of Walnut Creek Community Church, wrote, “I know Senator Brownback converted to Roman Catholicism in 2002. Frankly, as a recovering Catholic myself, that is all I need to know about his discernment when compared to the Governor’s.”
Massapequa, NY – A fire destroyed a playground and damaged preschool classrooms at St. Rose of Lima Church. The local police and fire marshal deemed the fire suspicious.
Naperville, IL – Vandals spray-painted obscenities and gang symbols on the front sign and several windows at Holy Spirit Catholic Church.
Mobile, AL – A statue of Mary and a statue of St. Vincent de Paul were vandalized at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church. Both statues had their heads knocked off and stolen. A third statue, a small one of Mary, was also stolen.
Las Vegas, NM – Monuments and marble icons were vandalized at two Catholic cemeteries, both of which date back to the late 1800s. The cemeteries were also littered with old appliances, empty beer cans, and drug paraphernalia.
Ada, OK – St. Joseph’s Catholic Church and three Protestant churches were spray-painted with obscenities and phrases such as “Gay Pride” and “Only God Can Judge.”
St. Augustine, FL – A man was arrested after slamming his pickup truck into St. Anastasia Catholic Church. He reportedly told police that he did it because he was angry at God.
Kendallville, IN – Two safes containing church documents and a small amount of cash were stolen from Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. The safes held records of births, baptisms, marriages and deaths dating back to the 1840s.
Camden, NJ – Vandals knocked over a statue of Mary outside the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
Columbus, OH – A 51-year-old grandmother of five was sentenced to seven years in prison for an armed robbery committed during a January 28 Mass at Christ the King Catholic Church. The woman held open a bag to collect money while her accomplice pointed a gun at parishioners.
Las Vegas, NV – A woman walked up to the altar at Guardian Angel Catholic Church during Sunday Mass and exposed her buttocks to the congregation. Moments later, she was arrested just outside the church and charged with possession of cocaine.
Hoboken, NJ – A 16-inch wooden crucifix was stolen from inside Ss. Peter and Paul Church.
Dallas, TX – Vandals pulled a statue of Mary off its pedestal at the Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe, breaking off the head.
Detroit, MI – Thieves broke into St. Andrew’s Catholic Church by smashing a window, and stole several items including a tabernacle, a chalice, and the top of the baptismal font.
San Francisco, CA – Police arrested an 18-year-old man for allegedly setting fire to the front and back doors of the Good Shepherd Convent. The fires burned out on their own and none of the six nuns inside were injured.
Colorado Springs, CO – According to the AP and CNN, Matthew Murray, a gunman who stormed a Christian youth mission center and then a nearby church, held a deep hatred for Christianity. Murray, who took the lives of four people before dying himself during a shootout with a security guard, targeted his victims because of their religion.
A look back at an Internet-message board he frequented, aimed at those who have left evangelical churches, reveals that on the morning of his killing spree he raged, “You Christians brought this on yourselves.” He also wrote, “All I want to do is kill and injure as many of you…as I can especially Christians who are to blame for most of the problems in the world.”
It is interesting to note that Murray was a fan of rocker Marilyn Manson (a self-described Satanist); he even performed some of Manson’s songs at a mission concert.
Mandeville, LA – A Church was broken into and vandalized. The vandals stole guitars, video projectors, and laptop computers. They poured coffee inside a grand piano, punched holes in the walls, knocked over a Christmas tree among other things. The damage was estimated at about $100,000.
Pittsburgh, PA & Bartlesville, OK – A book called National Sunday Law: A Shocking Glimpse Behind the Scenes by A. Jan Marcussen was mass mailed in these two areas. 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.