New York, NY – At the New York Film Critics Circle Award, Michael Moore presented the Best First Film to David France for his documentary celebrating gay activism, “How to Survive a Plague.” In particular, the documentary honored the day when homosexual terrorists from ACT-UP invaded St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City on December 10, 1989. They interrupted the Mass by shouting and waving their fists; they tossed condoms in the air; they spat the Eucharist on the floor; they chained themselves to pews; they stopped Catholics from going to Holy Communion. In an editorial at the time, the New York Times called what happened, “an act of desecration.” Moore said, “I personally like that one.”
Charlotte, NC – Someone broke into St. Thomas Aquinas Church and desecrated the altar causing $2,600 in damage. The vandals broke in through a stained glass window and then proceeded to knock over a crucifix, break a statue of Jesus in the church’s nativity, and leave blood stains on the altar cloth.
West Hollywood, CA – R&B singer Chris Brown depicted himself as Jesus on the Cross on Instagram. He was feeling angry after getting into a fight over a parking space and exploited Christian iconography to make a cheap personal point.
Wilmington, MA – Vandals struck St. Thomas of Villanova Parish, painting the word “Brainwashing” on seven doors in red spray paint. Images of a television and a brain were also painted onto each of the church’s 10 steps to the main entrance, and an exterior wall. A statue of St. Thomas was painted red as was a smaller garden statue. About a mile away St. Dorothy’s Church was also graffitied on the same night with similar markings. The graffiti was done using stencils and covered large sections of both churches’ property leading the pastor of both churches to assume that the crime was carried out by a group of organized people who had planned it out. In addition to the two Catholic churches, a nearby Congregational church was also struck by the vandals, although the damage to that church was minimal.
Utica, MI – Burglars broke a window to get into St. Lawrence School, and then once inside they were able to gain access to St. Lawrence Church where they were able to penetrate a safe and make off with an undisclosed amount of cash.
Hoboken, NJ – Burglars broke into Our Lady of Grace Church and stole two guitars, a nail gun and an electric saw. They also attempted to steal a laptop computer but failed because the computer was locked to a radiator.
Westport, MA – Two vandals broke into St. John the Baptist church, broke a crucifix in half, stole several valuable items including a century-old tabernacle, and urinated in the holy water. Two brothers were later arrested and charged with various crimes relating to this incident.
Lady Lake, FL – A homeless woman was arrested and charged with using a baseball bat to behead a statue of St. Michael at St. Timothy’s Church. The woman had been hanging around the church for several hours before vandalizing the statue. After she was arrested she said she was trying to “fight the devil.”
Chimayo, NM – A statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe was stolen from the popular Catholic shrine, El Santuario de Chimayo.
Bozeman, MT – Holy Rosary Church was forced to cancel Sunday masses after it was discovered that vandals had caused extensive damage in the church. Spray paint covered the walls and basement, and several sacred items were destroyed. After several other houses of worship were vandalized, the FBI began investigating the matter as a hate crime.
Covington, LA – At St. Paul’s School, vandals spray-painted the chapel, cafeteria, baseball stadium, Founder’s Circle, main building and statues. Much of the graffiti was anti-Christian, anti-Semitic, pro-satanic, and obscene.
Lincoln, NE – A 19 year old aspiring adult film star snuck into the Catholic Pius X High School that she used to attend, in order to film a pornographic video. The girl posed nude in multiple locations across the school’s campus and filmed a video of herself masturbating with multiple objects including a crucifix. She said that the photo shoot was intended as revenge against her former classmates and teachers.
In December a county judge sentenced her to 45 days in prison for trespassing and public nudity.
Pottstown, PA – St. Thomas More Church was vandalized when perpetrators sprayed fire extinguishers throughout the church, dumped maple syrup on the floor and stole a bottle of wine.
Shelton, CT – Outside St. Margaret Mary Church, a statue of the Blessed Virgin was slammed to the ground and split into pieces. Inside, the Body of Jesus was ripped from the Cross. The left arm was severed at the shoulder. The altar was toppled over. The tabernacle, with Communion hosts locked inside, was torn from bolts and tossed to the ground. Shreds of shattered glass hung from an entrance door. Teak statues were torn off the crying-room walls. Oil was strewn everywhere; it is possible that the perpetrators intended to burn the church down. Cars belonging to one priest were splattered with white paint. Another priest in residence at the church said, “This is a hate crime. They knew the symbols of the Roman Catholic religion and targeted them.”
Eureka, CA – Thieves broke into the dormitory of St. Bernard’s Catholic School and stole the belongings of nearly 25 foreign exchange students.
St. Louis, MO – The general manager of the St. Louis Cardinals ordered the removal of a small cross that was etched in the pitching mound at Busch Stadium. The grounds crew had been carving the cross along with another symbol. One newspaper reported that this symbol was the number “6” in honor of the late Cardinal Stan Musial after his death in January. Another observer objected that the symbol was in fact an “Ichthys,” meaning a symbol for Christ. The general manager said, “It’s not club policy to be putting religious symbols on the playing field or throughout the ballpark. I didn’t ask for the reason behind it. I just asked for it to stop.”
Cheektowaga, NY – Two men robbed St. Aloysius Gonzaga Church while funeral services were being held inside the church.
Brooklyn, NY – A vandal spray-painted statues of the Virgin Mary as well as a Christ on the Cross with red paint outside St. Anselm’s Catholic Church in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. The church was also struck by vandalism in May when two statues were defaced. Police arrested a 55 year old man and charged him with vandalizing 11 sites with red paint including a synagogue.
Staten Island, NY – St. Joseph Hill Convent and School were vandalized causing $15,000 in damage a week before school was scheduled to begin. Police charged three suspects with attempted break in.
Brooklyn, NY – A five-foot statue of an angel was knocked off its base at Our Lady of Consolation Church in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
August 25 – 26
Magna, UT – Vandals kicked in the basement door to the rectory and broke into Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, and then returned the next morning to do more damage and steal a television. Statues, benches, mirrors, frames and glass doors were smashed. Fire extinguishers were sprayed throughout the chapel. Beer was found in the holy water font. The vandals left behind blood stains, fingerprints, and a cell phone. The vandals urinated in the chalices both times they attacked. Garbage was strewn across the yard. The kitchen was ruined. Lights and computers were smashed. A television and all the sacramental wine were stolen. In total $12,700 in damage was done and $5,600 in property was missing. It was the fourth time in two years that the church was vandalized.
Three teenagers aged 14 to 16 were later identified by police as those responsible. One of the three, a 16 year old boy, was charged on December 3 with three first degree felonies. A second suspect, who had not yet been charged, was cooperating with the police.
Coos Bay, OR – An explosive device was ignited next to the Mingo Park Vietnam War Memorial cross. The cross had been the subject of controversy after the Freedom From Religion Foundation called for its removal. The cross remained standing and sustained superficial damage.
Phoenix, AZ – Vandals defaced the side of Sacred Heart Catholic Church with graffiti. The church was deemed a National Historic Site by the Department of Interior in 2012.
Brighton, MA – Vandals defaced billboards sponsored by the Catholic Radio Network in the Boston area. The original text, “Try God. 1060 AM Catholic Radio”, was altered to read “Try God. The other WHITE meat.”
Franklin Township, NJ – St. Mary’s Church, a part of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Parish, was vandalized while a vigil was being held inside the church. A total of 9 stone statues were severely damaged or destroyed.
Washington, DC – A stone monument of the Ten Commandments across the street from the U.S. Supreme Court was knocked over. The monument, which weighs 850 pounds and was reinforced with a steel rod, was toppled over, bending the rod.
Española, NM – While two people were praying, a man walked into the adoration chapel at Sacred Heart of Jesus Church and stole the monstrance along with the Eucharist that was inside of it. Police suspected that the criminal had planned out the crime the day before.
Police arrested a suspect and recovered the monstrance and the Eucharist later in the week.
Arlington, TX – Most Blessed Sacrament Church, along with a Lutheran church were vandalized with “unintelligible” Spanish graffiti relating to Mexican politics. The black and blue spray paint covered an exterior wall, several brick columns, the front doors, and a sign in front of the church.
Hamilton, MT – Officials at St. Francis of Assisi parish discovered that someone had vandalized the church’s sanctuary and destroyed a number of items. Among the damage was the glass altar, a piano, a kneeler and several other sacred items. Police arrested a 23 year old suspect the next day.
Staten Island, NY – The same convent that was the site of vandalism in August was now being investigated as the victim of an arson. In the early morning, the Daughters of Divine Charity awoke to find that the St. Joseph Hill Convent and Chapel was engulfed in flames. The Daughters were celebrating their 100th Anniversary in the United States during the weekend of the fire. Two nuns and four firefighters were injured in the fire. The New York City Police Department’s Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating the possibility of arson.
Utica, NY – St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Catholic Church was vandalized by a local teen who spray painted obscenities on the steps of the church and on a sign promoting a festival. Witnesses alerted police to the incident and the suspect was arrested shortly thereafter. Police are investigating whether or not the 18 year old was involved with a similar incident a year earlier.
Appomattox, VA – A vandal broke into Our Lady of Peace Church through a window and caused a lot of damage both inside and outside of the church. Six windows were broken, including three stained glass windows and pieces of the altar were spread all over the place. Outside, a statue was broken, handicapped parking signs were vandalized and decorative pumpkins were smashed. Within a week police had arrested a 23 year old suspect in connection with these crimes.
Rockford, IL – Glass windows and doors were shot out at St. Bernadette Church, School, and Parish Center by three vandals using low powered weapons. The Halloween night destruction included shattering a parish center glass door and classroom window. Additionally, glass that protects the church’s stained glass windows was destroyed, but the actual stained glass was unharmed. In total 36 windows sustained damage and will require replacement.
Baltimore, MD – Fr. Michael Kolodziej was suspended from all public ministries by the Franciscans. Furthermore, the Archdiocese of Baltimore withdrew his faculties so that he can no longer serve as a priest. Father Kolodziej has not been found guilty of anything. His accuser says he was abused by the priest while they were wrestling at Baltimore’s Archbishop Curley High School in the mid-to-late 1970s. The supposed groping would have occurred while participating in a contact sport in front of spectators. As a result, we have the spectacle of a 69-year-old priest being subjected to public embarrassment about groping a teenager in front of spectators several decades ago.
Philadelphia, PA – Father John P. Paul stepped down as pastor of Our Lady of Calvary Parish in November. He resigned because of the emotional stress he has been under. In all his years as a priest, he has never had an accusation made against him (he was ordained in 1972). But now, out of the blue, he is being charged with abusing two boys in 1968, when he was a seminarian. It’s funny how both of these alleged victims decided to wait 45 years to make their case—in tandem, no less. The police were contacted but the case was dropped because the statue of limitations had expired. But Father Paul is still being investigated by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
Chicago, IL – A 73 year old priest from Chicago was shaken down for money by the same two con-artist brothers who had hustled him before. This time the priest said no. “We’ll say you touched us—read the paper—they’ll believe us,” they said.
Philadelphia, PA – Charges of sexual abuse were made last September by the Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams against Father Robert Brennan. A month later, the charges were withdrawn, following the accuser’s death; he overdosed on drugs. Enter Marci Hamilton, a law professor who works at Yeshiva University in New York, a school that has had many recent sexual abuse scandals. In November, she joined other rapacious lawyers announcing that they were filing a lawsuit on behalf of the family of the alleged victim. Hamilton is obsessed with the Catholic Church in Philadelphia; it was her 18th lawsuit against the archdiocese.
Brighton, MA – Three individuals broke into Our Lady of Presentation Church, which is part of St. John’s Seminary, and spent nearly 6 hours vandalizing the property. They destroyed an organ, damaged doors, sprayed fire extinguishers, and defaced a painting of Pope John XXIII. According to police reports, the painting was slashed and graffitied with phrases such as “Devil’s Star,” “[Expletive] God” and “Scooby Doo.”
New York, NY – Vandals defaced a memorial dedicated to 9/11 victims at the Church of Good Shepherd. Graffiti was painted on a wall of the church adjacent to stones with the names of victims. The vandals also damaged the security gates of the nearby Good Shepherd School.