Aug 11 2020
“The trend of desecrating Catholic spaces and property must stop. I trust you are actively working to identify and prosecute those who have committed these destructive acts.”
MADISONVILLE, La. – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today wrote to Attorney General Bill Barr, asking that he act to end a series of assaults on Catholic churches and icons. Since May, America has seen at least 19 attacks on Catholic churches, statues, businesses, cemeteries, parishioners and personnel.
“The trend of desecrating Catholic spaces and property must stop. I trust you are actively working to identify and prosecute those who have committed these destructive acts. I ask that you also focus your efforts on preventing such violence to both Catholic people and property,” wrote Kennedy to Barr.
The spate of anti-Catholic crimes spans from coast to coast. On July 11, a man set fire to a church in Florida with parishioners inside. On the same day outside a Catholic church in Boston, fire destroyed a statue of the Virgin Mary displayed in memory of World War II veterans. St. Mary’s Basilica in Minneapolis, the first basilica in the U.S., was also damaged by fire.
The violence has at times singled out minority groups. A Catholic church founded in 1923 by Middle Eastern immigrants to America was recently spray-painted with anti-police messages.
“The Founding Fathers considered freedom of religion so integral to the fabric of the nation that they codified it in the First Amendment to the Constitution. We cannot let a handful of people destroy this fundamental right,” said Kennedy.
Kennedy’s letter is available here.