SACRILEGIOUS ATTACKS AGAINST CHURCH INCREASING
Priest: “We have lost our sense of sacredness and sanctity”
Near-daily reports of sacrilegious incidents against Catholics are being ignored by media or downplayed by police.
Since the beginning of August, the number of sacrilegious and violent attacks against Catholics and churches has begun escalating. These attacks are not only perpetrated by Islamic extremists in Islamic strongholds but here in America and Europe by seemingly normal individuals who have lost all respect for God and His holy houses.
The violent attacks are getting some international press coverage, but many of the non-violent attacks are passed over by media, while police are refusing to acknowledge the gravity of the crimes. Some incidents never make it past the local news coverage. Just Wednesday, St. Barnabas Catholic Church in Berkeley Township, New Jersey, was vandalized with upside-down crosses, profanity and the words “Satan rules” spray painted on the church sign.
The police of chief, Karin DiMichele, said, “Detectives from Berkeley police are conducting an investigation to determine suspects and a motive.”
Another incident occurred on August 9, when two “well-dressed” teens entered St. Eugene Mazenod Church in Brampton, Ontario. Just as the priest was about to read the Gospel, one of the teens went up to the lectern and began playing an extremely profane and X-rated rap song on the microphone. One parishioner said she “felt deeply threatened” while other women wept and were visibly shaken after the incident. Three parishioners held the youth until the police arrived. The teen is facing two minor offenses while the police deny finding any evidence that this was a hate crime.
Further evidence of the increasing wave of anti-Catholic sentiment can be found in Scotland and Ireland. On August 7, pro-abortion activists in Ireland desecrated an altar with a pro-abortion slogan, photographing the incident and posting it to social media.
On August 15, it was reported that Catholic leaders in Scotland urged the government to take stronger measures to protect Catholics from hate crimes. Even though Catholics make up 17 percent of the population, almost 60 percent of hate crimes are committed against them. These figures are up 14 percent from last year and government officials are reluctant to adopt a “targeted strategy” to address the crimes.
Even violent crimes inside churches are escaping media attention. Reported August 17, a 17-year-old girl was attacked and killed with a grinding stone inside Cherubim and Seraphim Church in Nigeria. The perpetrator was Muslim, but in other cases, police have claimed similar attacks were only criminal and not religiously motivated.
Such is the case with the Anambra, Nigeria church massacre of August 6. Only the cold-blooded murder of 13 people during Mass was deemed newsworthy, even though police and government officials believe this is part of a war between drug lords in the area and not a religious attack.
A man armed with an AK-47 rifle walked into St. Phillip Catholic Church in Anambra, rolled up his sleeves and began a 30-minute shooting spree, leaving 13 dead and more than 20 injured. A second shooting the very next week at an Assemblies of God Protestant church in Anambra was also downplayed as not a direct attack on the Christians.
“We have lost our sense of sacredness and sanctity,” Fr. Fidelis Ogbonnaya Asogwa, a priest and scholar at the University of Nigeria, says of the Anambra massacre. “This attack has showed [sic] how low we have degraded as a people to the extent of coming inside God’s house to kill innocent people.”
Just how low some have gone is shown by the actions of a couple who filmed themselves performing a sex act inside the confessional at St. Joseph Church in Amsterdam. The Dutch prosecutors refused to bring charges (links to graphic content) against them, saying while they agreed it was “offensive and disrespectful,” they didn’t find the couple broke any law — even that of trespassing, stating the church was at fault for failing to hang a “No Entry” sign on the church entrance.
Even the most sacred of Catholic beliefs are not immune. On August 4, the Blessed Sacrament was stolen from Immaculate Conception Catholic Cathedral in Lokoja, Nigeria. A number of priests took part in a solemn procession asking for mercy and forgiveness from God.
Ironically, the discredited Southern Poverty Law Center and its “Hate Map” has been referenced extensively in the days following the Charlottesville clashes. This map calls pro-family and pro-religious freedom groups as equally hateful as the KKK and the Nation of Islam but neglects to mention any group that is anti-Catholic, anti-Christian or anti-police on their map.