Denver Cathedral vandalized with anti-Catholic slogans – Catholic Telegraph
by Jonah McKeown
Denver, Colorado, October 11, 2021 / 12:18
The Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in downtown Denver was spray painted with anti-Catholic slogans on Sunday, the latest in a series of incidents of vandalism against Catholic buildings in Colorado.
Photos shared by local reporters show slogans such as “Satan lives here”, “White supremacists” and “Child rapists, LOL” written in bright red spray paint outside the cathedral building , sidewalks and at the base of a statue of Saint John Paul II, who visited and stayed at the cathedral in 1993.
Father Samuel Morehead, rector of the cathedral, said he had been alerted to vandalism by parishioners as they arrived to prepare for Sunday mass.
Father Morehead told CNA an eyewitness saw a person spray painting the church around 7.45 a.m. in daylight on October 10. Early indications are of a single woman who carried out the attack, although police did not share any information on people of interest.
Father Morehead said police street cameras captured footage of the person red-handed, although he is not sure whether the footage is clear enough to allow identification.
The graffiti has since been cleaned up with the help of parishioners and other volunteers. The paint was pressure washed from the main doors, Father Morehead said, and a specialist is now working to remove the paint from the cathedral masonry.
Father Morehead said the perpetrator appears to have “deep personal wounds and grievances” against God and the Church, but “it remains to be seen” what the real motive for the crime was.
A Denver Police spokesperson confirmed to CBS4 that the department is investigating the incident.
Archdiocese of Denver spokesman Mark Haas said that since February 2020, at least 25 parishes or ministry offices in northern Colorado have been known to have been the target of vandalism, destruction of property or flight.
“It continues to be disturbing to see the increase in reports of vandalism in Catholic churches, both in the county and in our archdiocese, and it is certainly unfortunate that our parishes are being targeted simply because of our beliefs,” Haas said in a statement to CNA. .
“We continue to pray for the conversion of those who commit acts of desecration against our churches, statues and religious symbols. “
The cathedral suffered serious damage in mid-2020 amid racist protests in downtown Denver. The church building and the presbytery were spray painted with the slogans “Pedofiles” [sic], “God is dead”, “There is no God”, as well as anti-police, anarchist and anti-religious expressions and symbols.
The doors surrounding the cathedral were damaged during these protests, tear gas that was fired to disperse the protests infiltrated the presbytery and the outer doors of the cathedral suffered permanent damage. Three bags of stones were recovered from the parking lot, but the cathedral’s most valuable windows remained unscathed. Other windows on the cathedral campus were smashed.
In June of this year, the Holy Ghost Catholic Church, also located in downtown Denver, was tagged in red graffiti in possible reference to the ongoing controversy over the old Catholic schools for Indigenous people in Canada, although the motive exact remains uncertain.
At the end of August, the predominantly African-American parish of the Curé of Ars, located north of Denver, was robbed and burglarized. All the church vessels used for Mass were stolen from the sacristy, which thieves gained access by breaking down a wooden door. The thieves also cut all copper piping from the furnaces in the downstairs building and from a stairwell outside the building, flooding the basement of the church with water.
The church tabernacle, containing the Eucharist, was stolen from the sanctuary. Some of the stolen items have since been recovered, but the Eucharist is still missing.
Last month, the Sacred Heart of Mary Parish in Boulder, Colo., Part of the Archdiocese of Denver, was tagged with numerous spray-painted slogans, including “Jesus [Loves] Abortion “,” Forbidden our bodies “,” No hangers ever “, and a symbol combining an” A “for” anarchy “and the traditional symbol for” woman “.
The parish had an exhibit of 4,000 small white crosses on its lawn, each depicting an aborted baby every day in the United States. The vandals trampled and desecrated at least half of the crosses.
St. Louis Parish, located near Louisville, Colorado, was recently vandalized with similar graffiti in support of abortion.
There have been at least 95 incidents of Catholic church vandalism across the United States since May 2020, according to a report by the Committee for Religious Freedom of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Incidents include arson, destruction of statues, and degradation of church buildings and gravestones with swastikas and anti-Catholic language.