July 18, 2020

USA: Black Lives Matter (BLM) Activist Shaun King Demanded Removal Of ‘White’ Jesus Statues In America On June 22. Catholic Churches Across America Suffer Week Of Vandalism And Arson.

Washington Free Beacon
written by Elizabeth Matamoros
Thursday June 25, 2020

Left-wing activist Shaun King on Monday said statues and images of Jesus Christ that look "European" should be removed because they are a form of "white supremacy."

"All murals and stained glass windows of white Jesus, and his European mother, and their white friends should also come down," King wrote on Twitter. "They are a gross form [of] white supremacy. Created as tools of oppression. Racist propaganda. They should all come down."
The former surrogate of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) described Jesus, a Jewish rabbi, as "Brown" but said it's up for debate whether he was "real." However, King did say he was sure that representations of Jesus as "white" are lies created to foster white supremacy.

"We can debate [whether] or not Jesus was real all day long," King said in another tweet. "What I do know, is that white Jesus is a lie. And is a tool of white supremacy created and advanced to help white people use the faith as a tool of oppression. Also, they never would’ve accepted a religion from a Brown man."
It is common for images of Jesus to resemble the ethnicities of different regions around the world, even though Christians do not dispute whether he was born in Israel. Among Asian Christians, for example, Jesus can sometimes be represented with some Asian features.

In response to calls for these images to come down, Seattle pastor Brian Gibson and others with the group Peaceably Gather launched an initiative to prosecute the vandalization of churches.

"Churches will prosecute any vandals or agitators to the full extent of the law, including seeking hate crime designations for any attempt to desecrate church property or religious symbols," Gibson said in a statement.
Coeur d'Alene Press
written by Daniel McKay
Thursday July 16, 2020

The Jesus statue that sits atop Chair 2 at Whitefish Mountain Resort recently was vandalized.

The statue was found Monday morning with brown painted skin tones and holding flags that read “Rise Up” and “#BLM,” according to a photo posted to Facebook, seemingly making reference to the Black Lives Matter movement.

By Monday afternoon the flags were gone, but the paint remained.

The resort on Monday released a short statement confirming the statue had been vandalized, adding the resort “strongly disapproves of vandalism.”

Resort spokesperson Riley Polumbus said she’s guessing the incident took place sometime over the weekend, and resort employees driving by over the last few work days hadn’t noticed a change to the statue.

“We certainly have some work where you’re driving up the mountain and you see it, but no one had seen anything,” she said.

Flathead National Forest Public Information Officer Lauren Alley confirmed the Forest Service learned of the vandalism on Monday, but did not yet have information on whether the incident is being investigated.

Polumbus added the Knights of Columbus organization originally installed the statue and provides annual care to clean it. The group will be assessing the damage soon, she noted.

The statue took its spot on Big Mountain in 1954 to honor World War II veterans and members of the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division and is included in the National Register of Historic Places.

The statue was previously at the center of a lawsuit.

In 2015 the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the statue was not conceived or funded by the government or government officials, despite being located on public land.

That decision upheld a 2013 decision that dismissed a lawsuit by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, which objected to the statue on the basis that its presence on public land violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution.

Rome Reports in English published July 13, 2020: Churches burned and statues of Mary vandalized in Catholic churches across U.S.

WCVB Channel 5 Boston published July 12, 2020: Burned Virgin Mary statue at Boston church sparks arson investigation. The pastor says the church would be there for the person who set the fire if they came forward.

Aleteia News
written by John Burger
Friday July 17, 2020

A church connected with the founder of the Knights of Columbus was desecrated in an attack on Thursday.

A week of vandalism and arson have left churches in the United States damaged but Church leaders and parishioners prayerful.
Statues of Jesus and Mary were beheaded or spray-painted, doors were covered with graffiti, and churches were burned, one quite clearly an act of arson.

Incidents of vandalism around the country included:

Queens, New York. Shortly after 3 a.m. on Friday, July 10, a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary that has stood in front of Cathedral Prepartory School in Queens, New York, for over 100 years was spray painted with the word IDOL on front. Police are continuing to search for an individual shown on the school’s security camera. Over the next few days, workers from the Diocese of Brooklyn’s Catholic Cemeteries cleaned the statue, which the school rededicated on Thursday, the feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.
Ocala, Florida. In Ocala, Florida, Saturday morning, July 11, parishioners were gathered for morning Mass when a minivan crashed into the front of Queen of Peace church. A 23-year-old man allegedly got out of the car and spread gasoline around the lobby, then lit it on fire. No one was hurt, but the fire did extensive damage. Police later caught the suspect, who was charged with attempted second-degree murder and arson. According to local media, the suspect told investigators that he was recently diagnosed with a mental illness but was not taking his prescribed medication. He also reportedly told them he had problems with the Catholic Church.
Los Angeles. Across the country the same day, another fire broke out at Mission San Gabriel Arcángel in Los Angeles, which was founded by St. Junipero Serra in 1771. (In the wake of nationwide protests regarding racial injustice, which led to the dismantling of statues of Confederate heroes, statues of Serra also became targets of destruction because of his alleged mistreatment of Native Americans.)

The timber roof and sections of the interior of the mission church were destroyed. No one was injured.

“Federal and local officials are still investigating the cause of the fire at the San Gabriel mission, with no determination yet made,” Catholic News Agency reported July 12. “On Sunday, the Los Angeles Times reported that agents from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were investigating the possibility that the fire was an arson attack.”

Chattanooga, Tennessee. Also on July 11, in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Fr. Manuel Perez, pastor of St. Stephen Church, noticed that the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary had been knocked off its pedestal. Upon further inspection, he found that the head of the statue was missing.

“What a strange time we’re living in,” tweeted Bishop Richard Stika of Knoxville. “This is occurring at various spots throughout the United States.”

ABC News9 said that Chattanooga police forwarded their report to the Department of Homeland Security as a possible hate crime.

Boston. A statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary at St. Pater’s church in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood sustained burns Saturday night, July 11. Fire investigators said that apparently someone lit the plastic flowers that had been placed in the statue’s hands, leaving the upper body and face charred. The statue was erected decades ago to memorialize servicemen killed in the Second World War.

Calgary, Alberta, Canada. On Tuesday, July 14, a statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus at Sacred Heart church in Calgary was defaced with spray paint and marker or chalk. A surveillance video shows the defacement being carried out by two young people. As police took up the new case, they were still searching for suspects after several statues at the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes in Ontario had their heads cut off with a power saw or grinder, the Daily Caller reported.

New Haven, Connecticut. St. Joseph’s church in New Haven, Connecticut, had its front entrance spray painted with satanic and other symbols either July 15 or 16. St. Joseph’s is part of the Parish of St. Mary, where Fr. Michael J. McGivney founded the Knights of Columbus in 1882. Fr. McGivney will soon be beatified.

“At some point between about 9:00 p.m. last night and 6:00 a.m today, there was an act of vandalism at St. Joseph church, where words and various symbols including a satanic one were painted on the outside doors of the church,” Dominican Fr. John Paul Walker, the pastor, wrote on the parish’s Facebook page Thursday. The symbol was an upside-down pentagram within a circle, Fr. Walker confirmed to Aleteia.

He asked parishioners to “pray to Our Lord in reparation for this sacrilege, and to St. Michael for protection against all the powers of hell. Please pray, too, for the perpetrator of this action, who is clearly a very disturbed individual in need of serious help.”

The Archdiocese of Hartford, Connecticut, said on its Facebook page that the graffiti also included an anarchist symbol. “This follows an apparent trend of desecrating Catholic spaces throughout the nation, as evidenced by incidents in Chattanooga, Queens, Boston, Sacramento, and Ocala,” the archdiocese said. “The underlying motive of these sacrilegious attacks is clear: to intimidate and instill fear in the hearts of those who worship Christ. However, our cherished Catholic faith has survived for 2,000 years in the faces of many different oppressors, and it is not about to yield now. Therefore, we remain unafraid and resolute in our faith, and we will pray for a conversion of the hearts of those who wish to terrorize us.”

Fr. Walker said on Friday that the church was open again after the graffiti had been removed and priests prayed “the appropriate exorcism prayers.” Opening hours would be limited.
The Federalist
written by Jordan Davidson
Tuesday July 14, 2020

In Los Angeles, a fire destroyed most of the historic San Gabriel Mission which was founded by St. Junipero Serra.

Archbishop José Gomez, the 5th and current Archbishop of Los Angeles, announced the fire on Twitter and asked for prayers from St. Junipero Serra.

“Our beloved #SanGabrielMission, founded in 1771, devastated by fire before dawn. St. Junípero Serra, pray for this land that you helped to found,” he wrote.

The cause of the fire is currently unknown, but is being investigated by the San Gabriel Fire Department. According to Capt. Antonio Negrete of the department, “recent vandalism throughout the region regarding Father Junipero Serra” also sparked an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The LAist reports that “the mission recently removed its bronze Serra statue from public view as a precaution” because “anger over the mission founder has led to questions as to whether the blaze that destroyed the mission’s roof and much of the interior was purposely set.”

A news release by the Catholic Action League condemned the recent attacks and called the case of arson in Boston a “lawless and malicious act of violence intended not only to destroy a venerable representation of the Mother of God, but, it would seem, to inflict needless pain and grief on innocent people who never did the malefactor any harm.”

Doyle also added that he believes that the timing of these incidents is not a coincidence and that the church deserves the defense of public officials.

“Given the climate of the country, where violent mobs of extremists are, increasingly, aggressive and emboldened in destroying historic monuments and religious iconography, public officials must remain vigilant in safeguarding the constitutionally guaranteed right to the free exercise of religion, which, necessarily, includes the right of churches to have their property protected,” Doyle said.

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