It’s someone else… until it’s your turn: churches attacked, burned in these USA!

UPDATE: 12 July

In Elmhurst, NY:

Statue of the Virgin Mary in Elmhurst Vandalized; NYPD Investigating as Potential Hate Crime

A statue of the Virgin Mary in front of a Catholic high school in Elmhurst has been vandalized and the NYPD is investigating the incident as a possible hate crime.

The word “IDOL” was spray painted down the front of the statue at Cathedral Prep School and Seminary, located at 56-25 92nd St.

Staff members first discovered the graffiti at 7:30 a.m. this morning, the Diocese of Brooklyn — which also covers the borough of Queens — announced. The statue has since been cleaned.

Surveillance footage from the scene shows an individual defacing the statue of Mary at 3:09 a.m. this morning, July 10.

The statue of the mother of Jesus has stood in front of the school for decades. It originally stood at the school’s Brooklyn location but was moved to the Queens location when the two campuses merged in 1985.

Rector and President of Cathedral Prep, Father James Kuroly, condemned the act of vandalism.

“Today, Cathedral Prep endured an act of hatred,” Kuroly said. “We were victims of vandalism against a beloved statue that is dear to generations of Cathedral students.”

“Please continue praying for those who committed this act of vandalism and hatred toward Our Lady and the Church,” Father Kuroly said. “May Mary stand forever at the doors of Cathedral Prep greeting her sons.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact the NYPD’s 110th Precinct at (718) 476-9311 or call NYPD Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-8477.

And NBC Boston:

Virgin Mary Statue Set on Fire Outside Boston Church, Authorities Say
Fire officials said someone set fire to plastic flowers that were in the hands of the statue
Boston police are investigating after a statue of the Virgin Mary was apparently set on fire outside of a church in the city’s Dorchester neighborhood.

Police responded to a reported fire outside of St. Peter’s Parish Church on Bowdoin Street around 10 p.m. on Saturday, where they found the burned statue.

Maybe they just don’t like plastic flowers? Perhaps they are activists in defense of the little plastics that were killed to make the flowers?

___ Originally Published on: Jul 11, 2020 

About attacks on churches.

It’s someone else… until it’s your turn.

This time, a old mission in CA established by St Junipero Serra and a church in Florida.

From the LA TIMES:

Massive fire at historic San Gabriel Mission destroys roof and much of interior

A massive fire ripped through the 249-year-old San Gabriel Mission early Saturday, destroying the roof of the church and much of its interior, authorities said.

“It’s heartbreaking,” said Capt. Antonio Negrete, public information officer for the San Gabriel Fire Department.

Authorities received a call at 4:24 a.m. reporting that the mission’s fire alarm had been triggered, Negrete said. When an engine arrived to investigate, firefighters saw flames and smoke coming from the corner of the mission.

More units arrived on scene, and firefighters mounted an aggressive attack, fighting the flames from inside the church building. But after about 15 minutes, portions of the structure started to fall on them and they made the decision to exit and move to a defensive attack, battling the fire from outside, Negrete said.

The fire was eventually called to four alarms, drawing 50 firefighters from the San Gabriel Fire Department and other agencies. They were able to knock down the fire at 6:48 a.m. No injuries were reported, but the damage to the building was extensive.

“The roof of the mission is completely gone and the interior up to the altar is completely destroyed,” Negrete said. The bell tower and museum remained intact, he said.

There was no word on a cause Saturday morning, as fire investigators were not immediately able to enter the building due to concerns about its structural integrity.

“We’re going to have building engineers come in and see if we can shore up some walls to make it as safe as possible for the investigators to go in and start investigating this fire,” Negrete said.

The mission was founded by Franciscan Father Junipero Serra in 1771.

From Ocala News:

Man crashes vehicle into Ocala church and sets it on fire with parishioners inside

A man is behind bars in the Marion County Jail after crashing his vehicle through the front doors of Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Ocala and setting it on fire while parishioners were inside.


The man, whose name hasn’t yet been released, led sheriff’s deputies on a high-speed chase before eventually being taken into custody. No serious injuries were reported in the incident.

From “A man threw some type of incendiary device into Queen of Peace Catholic Church off State Road 200 on Saturday. People inside were setting up for Mass at the time, but no one was injured.”

Si vis pacem para bellum!

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Alex says:

    The church in Ocala is served by the FSSP one Mass per week. A priest drives up from their Naples or Sarasota apostolate each Sunday evening to offer the TLM. It’s the only non SSPX TLM within driving distance of central and northeast Florida.

  2. JabbaPapa says:

    Attacks on churches have been occurring on a pretty much weekly basis in France — the most egregious one recently being :

    Cathedral of Oloron Sainte-Marie.

    Though the level of the destruction at San Gabriel Mission would be unusual even here.

  3. acardnal says:

    As you often quote Father Z: The late Cardinal George of Chicago said, “I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square.”

    The time may be coming closer folks.

  4. acardnal says:

    Your Latin phrase at the end reminded me of something Gen. George Washington said in a letter in 1780, “There is nothing so likely to produce peace as to be well prepared to meet an enemy.”

  5. JustaSinner says:

    Notre Dame was the dry run…it’s War now. I truly believe that All Lives Matter*

    There is an asterisk for a reason…

  6. Clinton R. says:

    Here in California, they destroyed the statues of St. Junipero Serra last month. Today, San Gabriel Mission was burned down. What next? They will get tired of destroying statues and buildings and have a desire to kill the faithful. But yet, Our Lord said the world has hated Him and will hate us as well. St. Michael the Archangel, defend us and pray for us.

  7. Semper Gumby says:

    “Technical assistance is provided through presentations, workshops, webinars, tabletop exercises, and training.”

    “Additionally, DHS’s National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) offers a wide range of security and resilience tools, training, and resources. Through its Hometown Security initiative, these resources are made available to communities, including faith-based organizations.”

  8. Kathleen10 says:

    I don’t see it reported but surely the pastor or someone in charge is already forgiving the person who set fire to the church or the person who drove the car into the church in Florida.
    That’s how it’s done in the Catholic Church now, we forgive and forget the actual victims, the Catholics who love the churches and the history of the place, and we concern ourselves with the perpetrators of these evil crimes and fuss over them, forgiving them before they are even identified.
    We’re entirely too passive, this is my humble opinion. We’re like goldfish swimming with sharks. It’s exhausting now. I can’t stand all this peacenik stuff anymore. We’re getting creamed and they are getting bolder, as one would expect when one meets tyrants and fascists.
    Frankly I want to hear some Catholic representation say, enough! We’ve got cameras and we’re going to find that person and prosecute to the fullest extent of the law.
    I’m not sure I’m going to make this if all we do is roll over like Buddhists. I may be anticipating but it’s all I ever hear Catholics say now. We better dredge up some moxie and get serious about our right to our beliefs and our buildings and statues. No more turning cheeks. Enough!

  9. Semper Gumby says:

    The LA Times article, on the day of the arson, includes agit-prop against the San Gabriel Mission and St. Junipero Serra.

    Sed contra: From “The Far Western Frontier 1830-1860” by Ray Allen Billington, 1956, pp. 7-8:

    “At the San Gabriel Mission the Indians cared for 150,000 cattle, 20,000 horses, and 40,000 sheep…” (6)

    “The very prosperity of the missions led to their downfall. By the early 1830s influential Mexicans were demanding that their lands be secularized and the Indians be allowed to care for themselves. Some unabashedly contended that the mission-controlled lands could better be used by others- meaning themselves…These demands were realized in August, 1833, when the Mexican Congress passed a Secularization Act…Governor Jose Figueroa of California pleaded in vain that the natives would squander everything on liquor and revert to a state of savagery. His protests were brushed aside…” (7)

    “The result was a wild carnival of looting. At mission after mission the freedom-crazed Indians slaughtered their herds in a carnage of sadistic glee; at the San Gabriel Mission alone thirty thousand animals were put to death for the mere joy of killing. For weeks thereafter the air around the stations was foul with the smell of decaying flesh, while over the next years settlers used the whitened bones to build miles of fences. In vain did the fathers plead with their charges that industry was still advisable even if no longer necessary; to a man they answered ‘We are free. It is not our pleasure to obey. We do not choose to work.’ Within a few weeks the Indians had returned to the hills and savagery from which they came, the patient labors of half a century wasted.” (8)

    (6) Duflot de Mofras, Travels on the Pacific Coast, I, 176-181.

    (7) The secularization decree is printed in Charles A. Englehardt, The Missions and Missionaries of California (4 volumes, San Francisco, 1908-16), III, 523-530.

    (8) Theodore Hittel, History of California (4 volumes, San Francisco, 1885-97), II, 190. Alfred Robinson, Life in California During a Residence of Several Years in That Territory (New York, 1846), pp. 159-161.

  10. SundaySilence says:

    The full quote from Cardinal George is:
    “I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history”

  11. WVC says:

    At some point, will bishops start taking security of their parishes seriously? I’m happy for the pro-active pastors, and I’m thrilled that my parish is on the tip of the spear for being pro-active, but there are some resources that a simple, small parish can’t put together on her own. Legal advisors and support would be more than welcome. Encouraging all pastors to at least put some kind of thought into a security plan would be good direction for some of the less aware pastors – and a promise, even if it’s in confidence, that the bishop will support the pastor if Ms. Fussy-britches starts complaining or some BLM representative files an unfounded complaint.

    I know the American Church is just coming out of a terrible situation where bishops protected bad priests who did bad things, but in many ways that’s created a rift that opportune misanthropes can take advantage of. I personally know of a very good priest who was sidelined for two years because of an entirely fabricated accusation. The person didn’t even press charges formally, but because this cretin complained to the county sheriff, they took action and had the local DA file charges on the state’s behalf. There was no evidence. The testimony was self-contradictory. And I personally know the priest, and he is and always has been an orthodox and upright man. Yet, out of pride or stubbornness, the DA refused to drop the charges for over a year even after it was obvious it was false. They just let the case sit idle. So this priest was severed from all public service for that entire time. And AFTER the charges were dropped, he had to continue to stay in isolation while the Diocese finished their own, internal investigation. It was only after that was completed that an ENTIRELY INNOCENT man was finally allowed to serve God and offer the sacraments again.

    THIS IS A VULNERABILITY that bishops and priests need to look at very carefully. We’ve established very bad precedents, and the enemy will stoop to absolutely anything to disrupt the Church. Generals cannot be over eager to take the side of the enemy against their own soldiers.

    It’s way, way, way past time for the bishops to get their head in the game. . . . Do they still not realize what time it is?

  12. WVC says:

    I should say – I understand there are plenty of bishops who may be passively or actively working with the enemy. Or at least sympathetic, out of their own amazing ignorance or cowardice, of who the enemy really is. I gave my example because, in this case, it was a GOOD priest and a GOOD bishop. A bishop who KNEW what was going on was wrong, but felt helpless to go against the existing regulations. This is a problem.

  13. Fr_Sotelo says:

    It reminds me of the 1850’s, when the Know Nothings went around burning down parish churches, Catholic schools and convents.

    In some places, the faithful fought back. In New York City, Catholics threatened to burn the city down if the Know Nothings continued their violence there. Yet even without physically fighting the Know Nothings, the Church survived and grew. The work ethic, loyalty to family, and charitable works of the Church spoke more strongly to the public than the propaganda of the anti- Catholic bigots.

    In these days as well, the holiness of the faithful speaks powerfully against the currents of anti-Catholic bigotry.

  14. crownvic says:

    As a former Parish business manager, I would like to address the safety and security plan. It requires a rather large “buy in” from the congregation. The Priest can’t do it by himself. There is a delicate balance that has to be made while doing such a plan. Many people in the pews are blissfully unaware and will resist any stepping up of security. After the Pittsburgh shooting, I attempted to form a “Safety Committee” to assist at Mass. My plan was to expand the existing usher detail into one that had communications, first aid gear, and a plan for several contingencies. Ultimately the Pastor didn’t back it and thought that simply having a police officer there during mass would work. One patrol officer can’t do what a team of 5-10 armed and trained people can. If you are thinking of doing such a plan, be sure to assess all the threats that can happen. Most likely, medical issues are going to be at the top of the list. The FEMA link above is good and I used it extensively in the planning stages.

  15. Tom says:

    “In these days as well, the holiness of the faithful speaks powerfully against the currents of anti-Catholic bigotry.”

    I really like that comment posted above by Fr. Sotelo. Absent a modern day “Dagger” John Hughes, it is the laity who are going to have to fight this. Most modern day bishops and priests are simply not going to step up (and Bishop Barron is correct when he points out that we have to stop whining about it), so it’s up to us. And the best way for the laity to step up is to be HOLY. Personal holiness. Once we achieve personal holiness, the rest will be easy. We will know exactly what has to be done.

  16. Andreas says:

    Yes, indeed…be holy and just as important (as noted above), be prepared! As Gumby and others here may know, the military has long employed Operational Risk Management (ORM) as a safety tool to identify threats and in doing so, proactively having plans in-place to mitigate said threats. Practicing ORM is an active, ongoing team process (in this case, your parish council) wherein threats are identified and assessed for the risks they pose. Once done, ‘controls’ designed to mitigate these threats are identified, put in-place and thereafter monitored for their effectiveness. Your parish council might wish to use ORM to help improve their safety efforts. There are a number of ORM resources available online, but one you might find valuable comes from the Federal Aviation Administration. It can be found at: . It is somewhat dated, but the information contained therein remains applicable to current conditions.

  17. Johann says:

    In Lebanon and Syria Christians have to station guards armed with assault rifles to protect their Churches. I fear that this will become the default position in America and the world soon.

  18. Sportsfan says:

    I haven’t been able to find an article about the cause of the fire at San Gabriel. Is there any information about that?

  19. RosaryRose says:

    A nationally known Baptist church here uses members of the congregation to be undercover guards, sitting in the congregation, posted around the lobby, watching the miles of parking lot. A former employee was one watchman and he mentioned that he could not pay as much attention to the service. They did catch some crazies this way and that was 5 years ago.

    I would think our Men’s Clubs, Mothers club, Knights of Columbus and other already formed groups could get training to be situationally aware. Surely local authorities or former military could train us.

    We already watch for people who don’t consume the Blessed Sacrament.

  20. Semper Gumby says:

    “Most modern day bishops and priests are simply not going to step up (and Bishop Barron is correct when he points out that we have to stop whining about it), so it’s up to us.”

    Good point, which means Bishop Barron should stop whining when the laity take action.

  21. SanSan says:

    We must protect our Bishops, Our Priests and Our Church property! A security team, maybe Kof C members stationed at each Mass. We’re in the parking lots of SF these days, so exposed to the elements and to the evil minions trying to take us down.

    Mother Mary we call on you to keep your protective mantel around your clergy and your parishes.

  22. monstrance says:

    Similar to Notre Dame – we may never hear the details of what or who lit the flame.
    Highly coincidental that this particular Mission Church would burn now after standing 250 years.

  23. APX says:

    The Mission Church was under renovations at the time. There is some speculation that it may be related. Nothing official yet. There is some good news in that the artifacts were removed from the Mission Church prior to the fire.

  24. NBW says:

    Hatred of the Church is becoming more and more visible. Read “The Guillotine And The Cross” by Warren H. Carroll. The similarities between France 1792 and now are striking.

  25. Sportsfan says:

    I think another book by Warren H. Carrol, “The Last Crusade: Spain 1936” shows many similarities to what is happening in our country today.

    When anarchists and communists team up, all hell breaks loose.

  26. Chrisc says:

    Bishop Barron’s word were a two edged sword. If the bishops ‘only want to care about spiritual goods’ and not the institutional church or it’s interaction in the public square then they should be prepared to a)be good holy ascetics, because they are going to get a hell of a lot less money given to any diocesan cause, and b) next time they say something about illegal immigration or any other left leaning issue, they should be prepared to be summarily told to park their collective butts in the corner, because this ‘is an issue for the laity.’ Sorry, bishop. You don’t get to shut up and claim muteness one day, and then to be a voice for the voiceless the next. That’s convenience and cowardice.

  27. avr says:

    To fan the flames, the LA Times offers this headline today:
    “San Gabriel Mission, a symbol of faith, history and oppression is badly damaged by fire.”

  28. Baritone says:

    I don’t think your typical vandal, whether “triggered” or not, would write “IDOL” on a statue of the Blessed Virgin. This seems more like a theologically-motivated attack (an errant theology, of course) rather than the rage of anarchists and marxists. This act has the appearance of the zeal of one who truly thinks worship is being given to the statue or at least to the one depicted by the statue rather than to Almighty God. It is still hatred of the Church, but from a different quarter, I think.

  29. kurtmasur says:

    And just as all of these wave of incidents are happening, the city of Prague, Czech Republic is due to inaugurate its reconstructed Marian column next month, right on Assumption Day. It is being built right on the city´s historic Old Town Square. The original column, dating back to 1650, was demolished in 1918 by an angry mob of anarchists, who evidently didn’t have their historical facts straight (they saw it as a symbol of Habsburg oppression when in fact the column was built as a special thanks to the Blessed Virgin for her intercession in helping the city defeat the Swedish invaders, who at the time had been invading many parts of Central Europe). What I find worrying is that already there is a movement to re-destroy the column by a certain group of so-called “intellectuals”, even before the inauguration of the new column.

    Here is a link to the project’s website:
    Although they have an English version, it is extremely poor in content compared to the Czech language version. It’s best if you run the website through google translate.

  30. SemperServusDei says:

    In an article today about yesterday’s tragic San Gabriel Mission fire (the cause of which is under investigation) the LA Times could not resist an opportunity to bash the Catholic Church, and St. Junipero Serra…

    “Founded by Franciscan Father Junipero Serra in 1771, the San Gabriel Mission has long been seen as an essential link to California’s past, as well as to the brutality and racism on which the state was founded…. The mission system destroyed the lives of Native Californians…”

    Sadly and typically, LA Times chose to fan the flames of religious bigotry, “racism”, and historical revisionism.

    It is open season on the Catholic Church…

  31. Unwilling says:

    Attacks against Our Lady and the Church evidence the fact that both make demons tremble.

  32. xavier says:

    The attack on the faithful is slow rolling. In Saint Louis Catholics praying the Rosary were being watched by the enemy and some those were harassing on Twitter.

    At least you Americans with open and concealed carry can protect your churches hereby live have to rely on the state


  33. Semper Gumby says:

    JustaSinner: Good point. Her name is Jessica Doty Whitaker. The BLM barbarians are sowing the wind.

    Chris: Exactly. And your apt word “cowardice” also applies to the agit-prop mill at the so-called “Catholic News Agency.”

  34. JesusFreak84 says:

    I was skeptical of Cupich dying in prison just because he’s so friendly with the far-left, etc., but given that they’re even turning on their supporters, (ex. protests in front of the home of Seattle’s mayor,) he might just fulfill the late Cardinal’s prophecy whether he likes it or not… =-\

  35. grateful says:

    Here is another innocent priest:

  36. Semper Gumby says:

    JesusFreak84: Good point. Leftist revolutions turn on their own eventually, some of that turning appears to have begun.

  37. KateD says:

    Unwilling- I was just re-reading this post and the comments, because it just dawned on me these attacks are all seemingly unrelated, other than the hatred for the Holy Mother of God, not just the Church but specifically Mary’s fiat and roll as Theotokos. We think of Archangel Gabriel almost exclusively in the context of the Annunciation.

    The fallen are raging fiercely…something has them more agitated than normal….and it’s has to do with the Eucharist and Its Original Tabernacle.

  38. KateD says:


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