Church invaded by pro-abort attackers, confessionals and altars desecrated

I have been saying that we are going to see more direct, physical attacks on the Church – on churches – from both pro-homosexuality and pro-abortion (pro-sterility and pro-death) advocates.

I saw this at CNA with my emphases and comments:

Abortion rights activists vandalize cathedral in Chile

Santiago, Chile, Jul 26, 2013 / 04:31 pm (CNA).- Abortion activists interrupted Mass at the Cathedral of the Chilean capital Santiago the evening of July 25, destroying confessionals and defaming several side altars with blasphemous graffiti.

“We were celebrating the feast of St. James the Apostle, with the mayor in attendance, and offering thanks to so many Catholics who serve the public, in an atmosphere of peace and recollection when protestors suddenly came in,” said Bishop Pedro Ossandón Buljevic, an auxiliary bishop of the Santiago de Chile archdiocese.

“The truth is that we are always for dialogue, for civilized debate. We believe in the God-given gift of reason.”

“Therefore we invite everyone to protest in whichever way they wish, but that they do so with respect for the law, for democracy, and the for the dignity of others.”

Archbishop Ricardo Ezzati Andrello was saying Mass on the eve of the feast of St. James, the city’s patron and namesake, when the activists unexpectedly stormed the cathedral at the conclusion of a pro-abortion march.

Abortion is illegal in Chile, even in cases of rape. Of the country’s population, around 85 percent is Christian.

The current government opposes liberalization of abortion access. Last year, Chile’s senate rejected three bills easing the absolute ban, the Associated Press reports.

The faithful present at the Mass, including Santiago’s mayor, Carolina Toha, prevented the activists from reaching the main altar.

With help from the faithful, police who in riot gear were able to remove the protestors from the cathedral, dispersing the crowd outside as well, and making several arrests. The protestors had barricaded themselves in with pews.

Isabel Carcamo of the Right to Choose organization told CNN Chile that although she was present during the incident and understood “the people’s anger” against the Church because abortion is not legal in the country, she did not agree with the violent attack. [Surrrrre she didn’t.]

The protests came ahead of a presidential election, to be held in November.

Bishop Ossandón commented, “at this time when Chile is getting ready to choose candidates for the presidency and for congress, let us all please respect the rule of law.”

Chilean president Sebastian Pinera said the vandalism was “not respecting that rights of others” and that “they’re not tolerant and are contradicting their own views.” [I wouldn’t say it’s a contradiction. Both what they did and what they promote are a kind of desecration.]

The protestors destroyed a confessional and spray-painted blasphemies on side altars and statues, such as “Mary wanted to abort” and “abortion is the best.

Police said charges would be filed against several protestors for destroying a national monument. Church officials said they would also file a lawsuit against those responsible for the vandalism.  [GOOD!]

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Gratias says:

    I have prayed at the Cathedral of Santiago. It is the center of the city, huge, and has a crypt right under the main altar with the relics of all the Archbishops of Santiago since the time of the Spaniards. This cathedral is the cultural memory of the Chilean Nation. What the abortionists wrote on he defaced altar, on the coffin, reads “I sh*t on God”.

    Funny, abortion will be legalized by Commie Presidenta Roussef in the beginning of August but our Pope Francisco had no comments whatsoever on abortion during his week-long visit to Brazil, despite this millions of the unborn will be tacitly condemned to death.

  2. I fear some may have taken Pope Francis words to heart, albeit out of context:

    According to the Huff n’ Puff Post: And at an address to young Argentinian pilgrims on Thursday, he called for them to shake up their dioceses, even at the expense of confrontation with their bishops and priests.

    According to Fox News Latino: “”I want to see the church get closer to the people,” he told them. “I want to get rid of clericalism, the mundane, this closing ourselves off within ourselves, in our parishes, schools or structures, because these need to get out.”
    His final message: “Don’t forget: make trouble.”

    According to Time: He told the thousands of youngsters, with an estimated 30,000 Argentines registered, to get out into the streets and spread their faith and make a “mess,” saying a church that doesn’t go out and preach simply becomes a civic or humanitarian group.

    “I want to tell you something. What is it that I expect as a consequence of World Youth Day? I want a mess. We knew that in Rio there would be great disorder, but I want trouble in the dioceses!”

  3. Traductora says:

    The top line of graffiti reads “Abortion is the best.” They don’t even pretend they’re doing this out of sad necessity or a desire to “help” women. This supports my contention that abortion is the sacrament of the left. Kill a baby and you’re part of the club. Even show your willingness or desire to kill one and you’ve passed the test.

    Incidentally, in the bottom line, the word that should be spelled “cago” (I sh*t) is spelled with a “k,” a sign of the radical left. I guess it was initially to show their solidarity with the radical leftist Basque terrorists of ETA. “K” does not occur in Spanish, but is common in Basque, and every time you see graffiti or banners where the “c” is replaced by a “k,” you’re looking at the work of the radical leftist/anarchist crowd. These people have gotten a real breath of air in Latin America in recent years after decades of being pushed back, and are clearly feeling pretty empowered.

  4. frjim4321 says:

    Sadly I am in agreement with our host that we are most likely to see more violence in our churches in much the same sense that we have seen violence in our schools. It is important to remember that the most radical elements of various demographic groups (gay persons, womens’ rights advocates, Muslims, postal workers, etc.) do not speak for all the members of those contingents.

    Nevertheless it’s important to see the anger for what it is; anger often comes from a sense (not necessarily justified) of unfairness. What kind of health care is available for women in Chili, both for those who want to keep and those who do not want to keep their babies? What is being done to address the social dynamics that cause women to make the horrible decision of abortion, which is wrong on so many levels? What are the prospects for healthcare, food, shelter, education, employment, etc., for mothers and the children that they choose to bring into the world?

  5. Andrew says:


    Nevertheless it’s important to see the anger for what it is; anger often comes from a sense (not necessarily justified) of unfairness.

    So what you’re saying is that the unborn infant is somehow that cause of this anger on account of his or her unfairness?

  6. Andrew says:

    So here is the explanation: the world is not a perfect place therefore all of you unborn infants deserve my anger (not completely justified but somewhat understandable). You should be killed. Abortion is the best! (El aborto es lo mejor)

  7. frjim4321 says:

    So what you’re saying is that the unborn infant is somehow that cause of this anger on account of his or her unfairness? – Andrew

    Um, I guess if that’s what I was saying, that’s what I would have said.

  8. Suburbanbanshee says:

    If anybody is thinking that Chile is a third-world country with bad prenatal care, please think again.

    Chile is a first world country with excellent medical care, the highest literacy rate in the world, and the highest number of bookstores per capita. People who take English in Chile study Shakespeare, whereas most high school Spanish students aren’t reading Lope de Vega or anything close to him.

    Chile has a national health care system that is open to all Chileans regardless of need, although the private system is still chosen by many. So women aren’t having abortions because they can’t go to the Chilean version of the NHS.

  9. frjim4321 says:

    Good to know.

  10. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Oh, and Chile also has welfare out the wazoo. (Although their Friedman-designed economic system is still helping their corporations make a fair amount of money, so the low taxes still can pay for the healthcare and social welfare systems. It’s kind of a mashup of their socialist/communist side and their libertarian/conservative side. Weird country but it works for them.)

  11. Andrew says:


    Your words: “anger often comes from a sense (not necessarily justified) of unfairness.”

    The anger was directed at the unborn and at the Church, the protector of the unborn.

  12. Andrew says:

    And “not necessarily justified” implies “possibly justified”.

  13. Kathleen10 says:

    Regarding the post, I am way past ready myself for some pushback by our clerics. In no sense am I saying it would be a good idea to have priests and bishops chest bumping with thugs, but, I am fatigued with the ever-present weak and overly conciliatory responses from clerics.
    This act and others like it was REPREHENSIBLE. They are ARROGANT. They are DISRUPTIVE. They DESECRATE the home of GOD.
    See how forceful these words are? You don’t even need them in bold. They are forceful on their own. When I see a bunch of demons like the ones here daring, DARING, to break into a Holy Mass and do these demonic acts, I get angry! I think everyone involved should get angry, because to me that would be a holy anger. The protestors should not be beaten with the pews, but, it does little good to defend the church and the Mass with weakness. I am happily surprised they are pressing charges!
    There is a time and a place for outrage and holy anger. If not this, when?? If not when little boys are sexually molested by homosexual priests, or our seminaries are flaming pink palaces, then when??
    This pacifism that has taken over our culture is a construct of the liberals and a tool of the enemy. How wonderful to see your enemy hamstrung into weakness and simpering responses! Too fearful of “offending”, you can desecrate any way you like and you are met with barely audible protestations and requests for respect for law. Ouch! Oh man, that hurt! Won’t do that again.
    If these people were decent, they wouldn’t have done this in the first place.
    I am not advocating violence as a response. I am saying there is a time and place for a strong response, and the responses I typically see when these incidents occur is just so incredibly weak it annoys ME. The GOP in America and the Roman Catholic Church will never be tolerated, liked, or appreciated, by being submissive and weak. It just won’t. People, even radicals, hate you more when you can’t even earn their respect by being strong on your convictions AND your “spirit”. Now in addition to them hating you for your opinions, they hate you for being a jellyfish and an unworthy opponent. You embolden them with your lack of fire and insipid response. It’s safer! You must consider every carefully chosen word if you respond, every movement. You cannot be a hot-head or you will make things worse.
    We should ask ourselves, what would Bishop Sheen say? Bishop Sheen lived in a different world than the one we inhabit, but, I can’t believe he would have little to say about our situations.

  14. StJude says:

    What kind of evil is working in ones soul to spray paint “Mary wanted to abort” ,“abortion is the best” and “I sh*t on God” in Gods house?

  15. tjg says:


    With all due respect, your comments imply that the fault for this unholy act lies at least in part with Chileans who do not do enough for poor women who find themselves pregnant and that if they did, this act would not have occurred. That is a strawman in my opinion, nothing is further from the truth. These people want nothing less than unfettered choice to do anything they want and anyone speaking out against them will be attacked at any given moment.

  16. AnnAsher says:

    @ FrJim – I think it is true that the acting out in anger often comes through a conditioned sense of unfairness but I think the root of anger is pain. Modern society has created an atmosphere that permits individuated ideals of what amounts to righteousness (without righteousness based in God) and therefore acting out in “righteous anger” is indiscriminate. There is no longer a standard for what is the moral good. All is relative. So what do people in pain, who define righteousness and morality for themselves, do with their pain? Everything and everyone else becomes subject and inferior to it. It is the exact converse of the Christian Life. We shouldn’t be surprised – the master of this world is no friend of ours.

  17. NBW says:

    I am glad the protesters are being prosecuted. What they wrote is extremely offensive to God. There is NO reason to for them to have written that. Truly demonic.

  18. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Normally, not even the most secular or atheist person would not want to paint insulting graffiti on a national historical and architectural treasure. Because that would be stupid and wrong.

    It’s all about the hate.

  19. Suburbanbanshee says:

    “would want”. I would blame the double negative on thinking in Spanish, except that it wouldn’t be true. :)

  20. Raymond says:

    I am by no means far-right/reactionary, but when I see things like these, it makes me yearn for a Francisco Franco or an Augusto Pinochet.

    When people push you, you have to push back. We cannot afford to be bullied for too long.

  21. torch621 says:

    I think I’m with Raymond. It’s high time we started pushing back, and hard!

  22. SKAY says:

    There is NO excuse for what was done within this church — in the name of freedom to kill the innocent of all things.

    Kathleen10–I was also disturbed by the news report and I also hope it was not meant as reported.
    Perhaps there will be clarification because it is being reported by the media as a distinct difference between Pope E Benedict and Pope Frances — with great glee.

    I live in an area where a priest was sent to different parishes by the Bishop because of this problem
    so I truly can relate to your comments.

    Perhaps there will be some clarification of this statement by
    Anglican Archbishop Tutu–

  23. SimonDodd says:

    It’s time to dust off those rubrics on the correct liturgical use of the bEretta.

  24. netokor says:

    Kathleen10, well said! Thank you for your post. frjim, keep in mind that satan will not reward his diplomatic corps. satanic rage is not normal anger.

  25. Elizium23 says:

    This photo makes me cry. I am literally weeping here in the middle of my work day at the parish. I cry for the innocent unborn who are lost. But I mostly cry for these attackers. I cannot be angry. I used to be pro-abortion. I committed two myself. I hated God. All that anger and confusion can do powerful demonic things. Look at what it wrought in Texas and now Chile. Has the world gone mad? I know in my heart that goodness will prevail in the end, but what a fight we have ahead of us. We are the Church Militant.

  26. Clinton says:

    The Holy Father is no stranger to this– last September the cathedral in Buenos Aires was
    attacked by a pro-abortion mob. The only reason the cathedral wasn’t sacked was because
    a crowd of the faithful linked arms outside the doors and blocked access. The mob spat on
    them, spray-painted them, struck them and screamed at them– the videos I’ve seen are
    horrifying, a foretaste of hell.

    At YouTube, search for “Argentina cathedral demonstration”. You’ll need a strong stomach.

    Think it couldn’t happen here? Just remember what happened in the Texas capitol building…
    They’re out there.

  27. Bea says:

    I don’t believe He would have “dialogued” and justified a “sense of unfairness” (justifiable or not) and commiserated with them.
    I believe He would have whipped them out of the Cathedral as He did the moneychangers.
    He would have accused them of defiling the Temple of God that is meant for a house of prayer, The House of the Lord.
    When will the Zeal of the Lord consume us that we should rise up in its defense?
    I weep for our leaders who justify themselves with zeal for the world’s problems and forget the zeal for the Lord.

  28. mddelala says:

    Hi! I wanted to add a few things to this note:
    1. The Cathedral was closed after the attacks. It will reopen tomorrow at 12:30 P.M. (GMT -4) with a mass. So it was closed for five full days as a way to take conscience on what happened. I’m no expert but I recall a canon that orders that after a profanation (this is the word used by Bishop Ezzati) a church must be closed until a reparation mass is held.

    2. Also, about the comment of “traductora”, I wouldn’t give so much importance to the use of the letter “k” instead of “c”. There’s little doubt that this destruction was caused mainly (if not only) by youth closely related to leftist parties (if they have a party and aren’t anarchists). But that’s because most people who is for abortion in Chile will support leftist parties. Recently there have appeared a few people on right-wing parties who are for abortion (or that started saying that they are for abortion), but they are few on those parties. The use of letter “k” instead of “c” has become quite common among theyouth. It doesn’t need to mean anything special.

    3. Although abortion is illegal in Chile right now, I don’t think that it will remain like this for a lot of time. Currently, there are two main candidates for the presidential election. The favorite (left wing) supports abortion and has said it while she worked on the UN, although it’s a topic she will probably avoid during her campaign (it’s a topic that can cost you quite a few votes). The right-wing candidate is personally in favor of abortion in cases of rape, sickness of the fetus and in “therapeutic” cases. While she was a senator, she sponsored a law project introducing abortion on these cases. She has said that she won’t support any abortion laws if she is elected, but you can be sure that she won’t use a veto against one either (as president Piñera said he would do).

    4. The Cathedral suffered damage in a 200-year confessional (it is a very large wooden structure that was put on its side. There were also a few grafitti paintings on a few walls and side altars. Problem is that these structures look like stone but they are all made of wood. It’s been very dificult to clean without damaging the art work.

  29. stilicho says:

    What unbelievable blasphemy. Simply unbelievable.

  30. doverbeachcomber says:

    I don’t advocate aggressive or vindictive violence toward such vandals, but I sure do advocate grabbing them by their scruffy anarchist necks (using the absolute minimum of force needed for the job, of course) before they can finish their mischief, and frog-marching them out the door of the church. It’s also just possible that a very, very gentle application of foot to seat of pants might be necessary to make sure they stay there.

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