SAN FRANCISCO (LifeSiteNews) — Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco has raised his voice in protest and warning against the continued public acts of anti-Catholic violence and mockery plaguing American cities.
His complaint follows a recent incident of vandalism at historic Mission San Rafael in San Francisco in which law enforcement watched the crime in real time and refused to intervene to prevent it.
“Our nation is now struggling to come to terms with its history of racism,” the archbishop said. “Yet universally ignored is its long, deep and sordid history of anti-Catholicism.”
Cordileone continued, “The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops reports that ‘at least 260 incidents’ – attacks on church property – ‘have occurred across 43 states and the District of Columbia since May 2020.’ The behavior runs the gamut, from arson to spray-painting, beheading and toppling statues, to defacing gravestones with swastikas and anti-Catholic messages. Arrests in these cases, and especially prosecutions, have been extremely rare.”
Citing some of the more egregious incidents of anti-Catholic violence in American history, Cordileone mentioned the 1834 burning of a convent of Ursuline nuns outside Boston by a frenzied mob and the infamous activity of the Ku Klux Klan, who “began to terrorize black Americans, Catholics and Jews.”
In more recent years, Cordileone related, a man named John David Corey was arrested in July 2020 for setting fire to the historic Los Angeles Mission San Gabriel the Archangel founded by St. Junípero Serra in 1771.
“Our brothers and sisters in Los Angeles aren’t alone,” the San Francisco archbishop declared. “Catholics in the San Francisco area have weathered our share of attacks too. In October 2020, protesters trespassed onto the property of Mission San Rafael carrying paint, tools and rope with the intention of desecrating and destroying a beloved statue of St. Junípero Serra.
“Five perpetrators were later charged with felony vandalism. Yet on May 25, the Marin County district attorney’s office decided to resolve the case through ‘an innovative restorative justice solution’ – reducing the charges to a misdemeanor if the defendants were willing to say ‘I’m sorry’ and pay an unspecified sum toward restitution, along with other minor stipulations. In other words: Mea culpa, nothing else to see here.”
Unsatisfied with the disregard with which such acts of vandalism and violence against the Catholic Church have been treated by both law enforcement and the courts, Cordileone took to task the unjust tolerance of anti-Catholic aggression, manifested in more public ways.
“Catholics believe in contrition, but we also believe in justice,” he declared. “This is neither. These five committed a felony, which was witnessed, recorded and widely publicized. Damage to the saint’s statue – which was sprayed with red paint and dragged to the ground – is estimated as high as $40,000, the parish told me.”
“Worse yet, officers from the San Rafael Police Department saw the crime in real time and decided to ‘observe the demonstration and not intervene’ for fear of escalation. Never mind that what transpired was hardly a ‘demonstration.’ Parish leaders told me that the police violated a promise they made with the church to step up if protesters trespassed on the property.”
“A felony charge is the least reparation that can be made to Catholics in the Bay Area who are deeply disturbed by this attack. The district attorney has instead given the signal that attacks on our houses of worship and sacred images may continue without serious legal consequence.”
Warning of an inevitable escalation of anti-Catholic violence should such crimes continue to be disregarded by law enforcement and courts, Cordileone said the stage is being set with threats on social media of “heinous violence” by transgender proponents who will not tolerate disagreement with their agenda.
The archbishop warned, “History teaches that when we don’t treat religiously or racially motivated crime seriously, we will see more and worse aggression. Already we are witnessing what such laxity has wrought across America. Transgender activists on social media have threatened heinous violence against Christian ‘transphobes’ who don’t subscribe to their ideology.”
“In California, this menacing behavior has taken the form of mockery. The Los Angeles Dodgers’ recent decision to give a ‘community hero’ award to the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence – a group that perversely dresses up as nuns while encouraging lewd and sacrilegious behavior – is the latest example of mainstreaming derision of the Catholic faith.”
Cordileone was referring to the Dodgers’ honoring anti-Catholic drag “nuns.” On June 16, the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Bishop Joseph Strickland will lead Catholics in a Eucharistic procession from the Cathedral of Our Lady Queen of the Angels to Dodger Stadium, where the drag “nuns” will be honored during “Pride Night.” The procession will be made in reparation for the blasphemies and offenses committed by the anti-Catholic group.