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'A Society in Need of Healing': Bishops' powerful response to recent attacks on Catholic Churches

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Imitate Jesus and 'respond to confusion with understanding and to hatred with love.'

In light of the recent attacks on Catholic Churches in the United States, the leading bishops in the country have released a joint statement to respond to the vandalism. 

An statue of Mary was spray painted outside Cathedral Prep School and Seminary, Queens, New York. (Photo by: Diocese of Brooklyn)

An statue of Mary was spray painted outside Cathedral Prep School and Seminary, Queens, New York. (Photo by: Diocese of Brooklyn)


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The archbishops explained that all the attacks on our churches are "signs of a society in need of healing," regardless of whatever motivation may have been present. 

"In the last few weeks, we have witnessed, among other things, one church rammed with a car and set on fire, as well as statues of Jesus Christ and of the Virgin Mary defaced or even beheaded. An historic mission church has also been badly damaged by fire, and the cause is still under investigation," said the statement, co-signed by Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami, who leads the USCCB†s religious liberty committee, and Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City, the chairman of the USCCB†s Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, according to Catholic News Agency.

"In those incidents where human actions are clear, the motives still are not," said the archbishops. "As we strain to understand the destruction of these holy symbols of selfless love and devotion, we pray for any who have caused it, and we remain vigilant against more of it."

"Our nation finds itself in an extraordinary hour of cultural conflict. The path forward must be through the compassion and understanding practiced and taught by Jesus and his Holy Mother." 

The archbishops insisted we needed to imitate Christ and "respond to confusion with understanding and to hatred with love."

In recent weeks, there have been several acts of destruction at Catholic churches all over the country. These included arson, decapitation of Mary and Jesus statue, graffiti and destruction of other Catholic statues.

According to CNA, some of the acts appear to be solely motivated by anti-Catholicism. In one of these instances, the word "IDOL" was spray painted on a statue of Mary in Brooklyn, and in upstate New York, a monument dedicated to babies who had been aborted was torn down.

Authorities are still investigating the vandalism, with some being potential hate crimes. 

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