Written by Mike Roche’s father: Bill Roche, A parishioner of St. Mary Star of the Sea, Diocese of Venice
A growing hostility towards churches/Christians has manifested itself in a series of attacks on church property and buildings in recent weeks. A partial list of these ghoulish acts includes: the decapitation of a statue of Jesus Christ as the Good Shepherd at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Miami on July 14/15; in Chattanooga at St. Stephen Catholic Church a statue of the Blessed Mother was beheaded on July 11; while in Boston, on July 11, there was an arson attack on a statue of the Blessed Mother at the church of St. Peter. On the same day, at Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Ocala, FL, a man crashed a minivan through the front doors of the church, poured gasoline in the foyer and ignited it while people inside were preparing for morning Mass (no one was injured). Yet another fire, on July 11, decimated the Mission of San Gabriel, a 249 year-old mission founded by St. Junipero Serra. The fire is under investigation for arson.
The foregoing is not an exhaustive list of recent attacks on church properties and yet there is no major discussion by the national media of these events. So where is the national media? Hiding? On July 13, the Ancient Order of Hibernians told the Cath. News Agency that “This absence of coverage is particularly glaring given that this attack (Ocala) is only the latest in a wave of wanton destruction targeting Catholics …”. The Hibernians statement went on to criticize the national media for their “silence on the rising tide of anti-Catholic violence.” These despicable events must not discourage us, for as Christians we follow One much greater than the self- appointed media brahmins of today—we follow our King and Lord Jesus Christ. During these trying times, we are called to pray, fast and be vigilant to protect our faith. (Sources: Numerous)