Gates surrounding the cathedral were damaged in those protests, tear gas that was fired to disperse the protests leaked into the rectory, and the outer doors to the cathedral sustained permanent damage. Three bags of rocks were collected from the parking lot, but the cathedral's most valuable windows were unharmed. Other windows on the cathedral's campus were shattered.
In June of this year, Holy Ghost Catholic Church, also located in downtown Denver, was tagged with red graffiti in a possible reference to the ongoing controversy over former Catholic-run schools for Indigenous in Canada, though the exact motive remains unclear.
In late August, the predominantly African-American parish of Curé d'Ars, located in north Denver, was broken into and robbed. All the church's vessels used for Mass were stolen from the vestry, which the thieves accessed by kicking in a wooden door. The thieves also cut all the copper piping off of the building's furnaces downstairs and from a stairwell on the building's exterior, flooding the church basement with water.
The church’s tabernacle, containing the Eucharist, was stolen from the sanctuary. Some of the stolen items have since been recovered, but the Eucharist remains missing.
Last month, Sacred Heart of Mary Parish in nearby Boulder, Colorado, which is in the Denver archdiocese, was tagged with numerous spray-painted slogans including “Jesus [Loves] Abortion,” “Bans off our bodies,” “No Wire Hangers Ever,” and a symbol combining an “A” signifying “anarchy” and the traditional symbol for “female.”
The parish had a display of 4,000 small white crosses in its front lawn, each one representing a baby aborted each day in the United States. The vandals trampled and desecrated at least half of the crosses.
St. Louis Parish in nearby Louisville, Colorado was vandalized with similar pro-abortion graffiti recently.
There have been at least 95 reported incidents of vandalism of Catholic churches across the United States since May 2020, according to a report by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee for Religious Liberty.
Incidents include arson, the destruction of statues, and the defacement of church buildings and gravestones with swastikas and anti-Catholic language.
Jonah McKeown is a staff writer and podcast producer for Catholic News Agency. He holds a Master’s Degree from the University of Missouri School of Journalism and has worked as a writer, as a producer for public radio, and as a videographer. He is based in St. Louis.