New York, NY—Red paint was smeared on two stone pillars near the sanctuary in St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
Canton, MA—A statue of the Infant Jesus was stolen from a nativity scene outside of St. John the Evangelist Church.
Burlington, CO—St. Catherine of Siena Church was set afire by arson, Stations of the Cross and statues were destroyed, and the Blessed Sacrament was taken from the tabernacle and scattered around the church.
Baton Rouge, LA—The Catholic Life Center erects 500 white crosses to commemorate the anniversary of Roe v. Wade every year. About 200 were crushed and scattered by vandals. Two weeks later, more crosses were crushed by a car after a pro-abortion rally was held nearby.
San Antonio, TX—At San Fernando Cathedral, seven statues, most of them over 100 years old, were smashed by a man who called churchgoers “idolaters” and told them that he had to “save them” from “idol worship.” The damage to the statues was estimated at over $200,000.
Stoughton, MA—Two teenagers broke into Immaculate Conception Church, emptied the fire extinguishers in the church, drank the wine used for Mass, urinated on the altar and in the holy water, tried to steal the money out of a safe and poor box, and drew a pentagram on a window. The damage was estimated at $10,000.
Carpentersville, IL—St. Monica’s Church was vandalized in the middle of a weekday. A crucifix was broken and hung upside down, an altar cloth and a vestment were cut up, human feces was smeared on the carpet, urine was found near the altar, and the number 666 was written on a sheet of paper along with insulting words in Spanish.
A postcard received by the Catholic League from Madison, Wisconsin about Mel Gibson’s movie “The Passion of the Christ” stated that the movie is rated R “for graphic religious violence designed to shock teenagers into serving vocation-starved churches, adults into tithing at pre sexual [sic] abuse scandal levels; to preempt the Feb 27th report on abuse.”
Johnston, RI—A statue of the Good Shepherd set up as a shrine to the unborn outside Our Lady of Grace Church was spray-painted with the words “anti-choice Nazis.”
St. Louis, MO—Immaculate Heart of Mary Church and School were vandalized. Vandals emptied a fire extinguisher on all the church pews, smashed two sanctuary lamps, and dripped wax from burning candles. At the school, computer monitors were smashed, and a small fire was set in a classroom.
Denver, CO—A group of motorcycle bikers called “UMF” planned a “Catholic School Girl Benefit Poker Run” that was replete with Catholic bashing. The event, scheduled for June 11, was to feature young women dressed in plaid Catholic school short skirts. Pictures available on the group’s website made it clear that obscene and highly insulting behavior was going to be exhibited. After consulting the Catholic League, local Catholics protested and the officials decided that no permit would be extended.
Arlington, VA—St. Thomas More Cathedral School was vandalized with spray-painted graffiti in its hallway, cafeteria and gymnasium floor. The graffiti was sexually graphic and included anti-Semitic references.
Fort Oglethorpe, TN—The fellowship hall at St. Gerard Church was vandalized. Vandals spray-painted chairs, walls and tables and a portrait of Pope John Paul II was damaged.
Portsmouth, NH—A statue of the Blessed Mother was lifted off its pedestal and hung with a garden hose on a light fixture in front of the door of the rectory of St. Catherine’s Church.
Waite Park, MN—In the space of a few weeks, four statues of the Blessed Mother were stolen from the private properties of residents of the town.
Mandan, ND—Molotov cocktails were thrown at a statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and at a school bus outside of St. Joseph’s Elementary School. The statue was scorched.
The Catholic League contingent marches up Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue in the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Manchester, NH—The steps and the interior wall of Temple Israel were vandalized with anti-Catholic and anti-Semitic spray-painted graffiti.
Montpelier, VT—A statue of the Blessed Mother was draped with an American flag and set on fire outside of St. Augustine’s Church.
San Jose, CA—Thieves broke into St. Maria Goretti Church, smashing a stained glass window, destroying votive candles, defacing icons of the saints, and stealing from the poor box. It was the fourth time in a year the church was broken into.
Boston, MA—At the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, the processional cross was stolen from atop a seven-foot pole. The pole was also bent and the vandal tried to break free the tabernacle of the cathedral. The cross was worth $750.
Hayward, CA—On the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a statue of the Blessed Mother was decapitated outside the Church of St. Bede.
Greenwood, IN—An arsonist set fire to the carpet at the base of the altar of Our Lady of the Greenwood Church.
New York, NY—During the Republican National Convention, composer Philip Glass was featured at a counter-convention event. He told the room of celebrities that the U.S. was being “taken over by religion,” and that the country was being “ruled by the Bible and not the Constitution.” Glass composed the Catholic-bashing opera, “Galileo Galilei.”
Boston, MA—A sign for the new Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta Church was torn down the night before the first Mass was celebrated. The church was created by the merger of two older parishes.
Staten Island, NY—Vandals spray painted upside-down crosses, the number “666” and “The house of God has been destroyed” on the gymnasium wall of the school of Holy Child Church.
Chicago, IL—Theophilus Green, a forensic psychologist, filed suit in federal court against Francis Cardinal George, the Archdiocese of Chicago, and the major licensing and social services departments of the state of Illinois. The suit was filed on behalf of the doctor, his clients and staff, saying that the state services were negligent in not enforcing mandatory child abuse reporting. The suit also asked the court to remove the Church’s tax exemption and to restrict federal Medicare and Medicaid monies from all Catholic schools, hospitals and churches.
Green stated, “I’ve contacted the church and informed them I am willing to drop some claims if the USCCB grants American clerics the right to marry. Marriage for priests is the only real protection the church can provide to children, as well as my clients.…There is no question in my mind that if the Mayor of Chicago and the Governor of Illinois were not Catholics, that the church’s failure to comment on a massive legal travesty to minorities and the state’s deaf ear to the consequences of the church’s child sexual abuse would continue. There is, unfortunately, no other way to say it. Cardinal George has ignored his religious responsibilities to his congregation to serve the expectations of politicians in office.” Green claimed that his first witness would be the pope.
Godfrey, MO—A 19th century cemetery, St. Patrick’s, run by Sts. Peter and Paul parish, was vandalized. Thirty-three headstones were toppled.
Lincoln, NE—A 45-year-old nativity scene was vandalized one day after it was set up. The figures, placed on a private front lawn, were completely smashed and bent.
Quincy, MA—A 20-inch statue of the Infant Jesus was stolen from a nativity scene in a local cemetery. The nativity scene was paid for by local churches after the city refused to display one in front of City Hall in 2001. A few days later, the statue was found floating in the town river and was recovered.
North Cambridge, MA—At St. John the Evangelist Church, a statue of the Blessed Mother that was part of a shrine to the unborn, was vandalized. The statue was spray painted and a crown of coat hangers was placed on the head. The driveway of the church was spray painted with the words, “Get yr religion off our lives!”
San Francisco, CA—The board of directors of the Pacific Heights Towers condominium complex banned residents from affixing seasonal decorations to their doors.
The following incidents all occurred in December. The media gave high profile to the Catholic League’s tracking of these events.
* Vandals damaged a life-size nativity scene in Merced, California.
* A Baby Jesus was stolen from a McKinney, Texas family’s yard.
* Over a dozen statues were stolen from a nativity scene in Pasco County, Florida, and three of the inflatable snowmen were slashed.
* A nativity scene was stolen from the yard of a Pataskala, New Jersey family.
* A family from Whitehall, Michigan also had its entire nativity scene stolen.
* In Camillus, New York, a 75-pound nativity scene was stolen from a church.
* The nativity scene in Chicago’s Daley Plaza was vandalized and the baby Jesus taken, even though the statue was locked down.
* Baby Jesus was also stolen from the Metcalf Mortuary in St. George, Utah.
* A church in Fairmount, New York had its nativity scene stolen.
* The baby Jesus was stolen from a large nativity scene in the historic Hancock Cemetery next to Quincy City Hall, Massachusetts.
* The Mountaineer Inn in Asheville, North Carolina had its nativity scene stolen by vandals.
* A family from Lockport, Illinois had its nativity scene stolen.
* A handmade nativity scene was destroyed by vandals on the property of a family in Lincoln, Nebraska.
* A front-yard nativity scene was damaged in Farmington, Illinois.
* A Baby Jesus was stolen from a nativity scene in the front yard of a businessman’s home in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
* Thirteen large Nativity figurines were stolen from the front lawn of a home in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, then taken about a mile away and placed high in a tall tree. One of the statues sustained damage.
* Plywood figures of the baby Jesus and a statue of a sheep were stolen from Mesa Verde United Methodist Church in Costa Mesa, California.
* A baby Jesus figure was stolen from Capitola Community Church in Santa Cruz, California.
* Vandals cut the wire securing a baby Jesus statue in its manger in the yard of a home in South Anchorage, Alaska, and discarded the statue on the ground down a nearby bicycle path.
* A baby Jesus figurine was stolen in Memorial Park in Lansdale, Pennsylvania.
* The diocese of Knoxville, Tennessee’s Madonna and Child statue was desecrated: the baby’s arms and head were cut off, the stumps doused in red paint, the baby’s head thrown through a glass door, an upside-down cross scrawled on the Blessed Mother’s robe, and her face covered with paint.
* A statue of St. Joseph, an angel and other pieces from a manger scene were stolen from a home in southern Charlotte, North Carolina, after the family received telephone calls complaining about the display. It was the second year the display was victim to theft.
* The baby Jesus statue was stolen from a Knights of Columbus crèche in Epping, New Hampshire.
* The Mary and Jesus figurines were taken from a manger scene in the front yard of a fireman’s home in Tiverton, Massachusetts, while the scene’s other figures were knocked over.
* An original wood carving of a Madonna and Child was stolen from a nativity scene outside Peace Lutheran Church in Neenah, Wisconsin. The statue had been bolted into the frame in which it was displayed. “Whoever took Mary had to literally rip her out,” said the parishioner who commissioned and donated the statue.
* A crib scene built up over six years in Morningside, Iowa was knocked over and vandalized.
* A baby Jesus from a Diamondhead, Mississippi crèche was stolen and inflatable Christmas figures were slashed.
* An animal figure from a nativity scene on a residential front lawn was stolen in Maplewood, Minnesota.
* The baby Jesus figure of the Baxter County, Arkansas courthouse’s nativity scene was stolen.
* A lighted nativity scene in the front yard of a home in Murrieta, California was stolen and its electrical cord cleanly cut—indicating that the theft may have been pre-meditated, since the thief brought along scissors.
* The Lighthouse Church of God in Grand Traverse county, Michigan was robbed of the baby Jesus figure from its 25-year-old nativity display.
* A wooden baby Jesus statue in a Knights of Columbus hall crèche in Barre, Vermont was stolen.
* A statue was stolen from the nativity scene of Grace United Church in Plainfield, Vermont.
* In Volusia County, Florida, a baby Jesus and manger in a family’s crèche display was taken.
* Three teenage males who stole eight Christ Child figures from nativity scenes at homes in Fort Branch and Haubstadt, Indiana were made to return them and apologize to their owners. Two were adults and face criminal charges. The third was referred to juvenile authorities.
* A stolen plastic Magi figure was discovered by police in Whitman, Massachusetts and, nearby, three crèche figures were taken from the lawn of a Rockland, Massachusetts home.
* Satanic symbols were drawn and profanity written on a figurine of a nativity scene on Highland Avenue in Norwalk, Connecticut.
* Five to six students at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana were expelled, and between 80 and 90 severely reprimanded, for criminal acts that included vandalizing a campus nativity scene.
* A 2-foot, 75-pound concrete statue of the Infant Jesus was stolen from a nativity scene on the lawn of St. Joseph’s Church in Camillus, New York.
* A tabernacle containing the Blessed Sacrament was stolen from St. Isidore’s Church in Danville, California. Since it was cemented to the altar, the thieves needed tools to remove it.
* A nativity scene was vandalized outside a private residence in Farmington, Michigan. The figures were knocked over and the manger was smashed.
* A local homeowner in Centerville, California had her statue of the Blessed Mother stolen from outside of her home.
* A nativity scene set up in front of the Corpus Christi Knights of Columbus Council in Mineola, New York was vandalized. The protective Plexiglas was smashed and the figures thrown out into the street.
* St. Mary’s of Perpetual Help in Milo, Iowa was burned by an arsonist who was later arrested.