St. Joseph Church in New Haven, Connecticut, was forced to close its doors temporarily this week after becoming the target of vandalism that included “satanic symbols” painted on the church’s front door.
The church announced the hateful crime in an Instagram post asking parishioners for prayers.
“Last night and 6:00 AM today, there was an act of vandalism at St. Joseph Church, where words and various symbols including a satanic one were painted on the outside doors of the church,” the pastor, Fr. John Paul, wrote. “While we assess the situation and make plans to bless the church, the church will remain closed at least through the end of the day today. Our two daily Masses, confessions, and afternoon Adoration are therefore canceled.”
“I would ask everyone in the parish to pray to Our Lord in reparation for this sacrilege, and to St. Michael for protection against all the powers of hell,” he continued. “Please pray, too, for the perpetrator of this action, who is clearly a very disturbed individual in need of serious help.”
In an update posted to the parish’s Facebook page on Thursday, the pastor drew attention to a string of incidents across the country affecting Catholic parishes. As the Daily Wire reported earlier this week, at least four Catholic churches in four states were burned or otherwise desecrated last week, and several sacred statutes were covered in paint or burned in arson attacks.
The attack on St. Joseph, the pastor noted, “follows an apparent trend of desecrating Catholic spaces throughout the nation, as evidenced by incidents in Chattanooga, Queens, Boston, Sacramento, and Ocala. The underlying motive of these sacrilegious attacks is clear: to intimidate and instill fear in the hearts of those who worship Christ.”
Between the hours of 9 PM last night and 6 AM this morning, a person or group of persons had painted anarchist and…
Posted by Archdiocese of Hartford on Thursday, July 16, 2020
Two additional attacks were recorded Wednesday, one in Miami, Florida, and another in Colorado Springs, Colorado, according to Catholic News Service.
In Miami, “as a statue of Christ was toppled and beheaded,” and in Colorado Springs, “a statue of Mary was daubed with red paint.”
“Late Tuesday night, July 14th or early Wednesday morning, July 15th, the statue of Jesus Christ as the Good Shepherd was desecrated; the head of Jesus was separated from its body,” the Archdiocese of Miami’s communications director told the Catholic outlet. “The statue was located outside its namesake church, the Archdiocese of Miami’s Good Shepherd Catholic Church, in Southwest Miami-Dade County. The police were notified and Archbishop Thomas Wenski is asking this investigation be treated as a hate crime.”
The statue of the Virgin Mary in Colorado Springs was tagged with the word, “redrum” (“murder” spelled backward, and a reference to the Stephen King novel, “The Shining”) in what authorities say was an act of simple vandalism.