A cluster of Catholic churches stretching coast-to-coast were targeted over the weekend. Police are now investigating the series of arsons and vandalizations.
“Churches are being burned to the ground,” said controversial right-wing writer and provocateur Mike Cernovich. “Why is this not the biggest story of the day?”
And Sean Feucht, a California-based worship leader and former Republican congressional candidate, asked, “Where’s the outrage?”
The destruction comes after weeks of violent riots and Black Lives Matter protests following the police killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man in Minneapolis. Shaun King, a controversial, radically progressive activist, has called for all images depicting Jesus as a white “European” to be torn down, because they represent “white supremacy” and “racist propaganda.”
It began Saturday at the Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Marion County, Florida, where a 24-year-old assailant drove his vehicle into the place of worship during a morning Mass and poured gasoline in the foyer and set the building on fire before he drove off. He has since been arrested and charged with attempted murder, arson, burglary, and evading arrest.
The Florida-based arsonist told detectives he has problems with the Catholic Church, has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, and has not been taking his medications.
At the same time, a 249-year-old Catholic church in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles caught fire. The cause of the blaze within the church, which was undergoing renovations for its upcoming 250th anniversary, is unknown at this point, though law enforcement officials are investigating the matter.
In Boston, a statue of the Virgin Mary outside a Catholic church was set on fire. City police are investigating the blaze outside St. Peter Parish at around 10 p.m. The flowers in the hands of Mary, the mother of Jesus, were set on fire damaging the statue’s arms and face.
“I was shocked,” said Pastor John Currie.
A similar statue of the Virgin Mary was vandalized in New York City. The Diocese of Brooklyn announced police are looking into the word “IDOL” spray-painted onto the front of the statue outside Cathederal Prep School and Seminary in Queens.
Father James Kuroly, rector and president of the seminary, called the crime “an act of hatred.”
“Obviously, this tragedy saddens us deeply but it also renews our hope and faith in the Lord as he has shown his goodness in the many people who have already reached out to us,” he continued. “We are sincerely grateful for the help we have received as well as the prayers. Please continue praying for those who committed this act of vandalism and hatred toward Our Lady and the Church.”
While these instances have received scant coverage in the press, the damage done to churches across the U.S. comes as protesters and rioters continue to tear down monuments in major cities.