As Attacks on Catholic Churches Mount, Group Calls on Biden to Condemn Violence

John Jakubisin | August 11, 2020 | 11:43am EDT
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Joe Biden
(Getty Images/Saul Loeb)

CatholicVote, a national advocacy organization, is calling on presumptive Democratic presidential nominee and self-professed Catholic Joe Biden to condemn the recent rise in attacks on Catholic churches, statues, and beliefs.

“Citing the alarming number of arson-related church fires, desecration of sacred symbols and statues by extremist mobs, and even the hate-filled rhetoric of leading members of the Democratic party” the group says that Biden has “a responsibility and duty to Catholics to publicly condemn these attacks.”

CatholicVote’s mission is “to inspire every Catholic in America to live out the truths of our faith in public life” and support “Life, Faith and Freedom,” the group’s website states.

Top Democrats “have fueled a climate of hate against Catholics,” CatholicVote Pres. Brian Burch says:

“Catholic churches across America are literally burning, and Joe Biden has said nothing. Leading members of the Democratic Party have fueled a climate of hate against Catholics, and these attacks have now led to acts of vandalism and violence.”

“These attacks on the Church raise serious questions about the commitment of Joe Biden, a self-professed Catholic, to stand up to the rising climate of anti-Catholicism across the country.”

 “I’m a practicing Catholic,” Biden declares on his campaign website, adding that, “I believe faith is a gift. And the first obligation we all have is, ‘Love your God,’ the second one is, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

In its statement, CatholicVote cited recent attacks on Catholic churches in Massachusetts, including an incident where a Molotov cocktail was thrown at Sacred Heart Catholic church in Weymouth, Massachusetts. 

The attack on the church is the sixth act of arson or vandalism against a Catholic church in Massachusetts this year reported by officials, the group said. 

Moreover, during just one week in July, 12 Catholic churches were attacked, according to The Wall Street Journal.

CatholicVote quotes recent comments by Representative Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) calling the statue of Fr. Damien of Molokai in the U.S. Capitol “an example of patriarchy and white supremacist culture.” CatholicVote notes that “Fr. Damien was honored by the state of Hawaii for giving his life in service to a leper colony on the island of Molokai.”

The CatholicVote statement lists several additional examples of attacks against Catholics, among them the painting of Satanic symbols on St. Joseph’s Church in New Haven, CT. “The underlying motive of these sacrilegious attacks is clear: to intimidate and instill fear in the hearts of those who worship Christ,” the Diocese of New Haven said in a statement reacting to the violence.

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