Four Catholic churches in Wisconsin's Chippewa county were vandalized in the past week.

The churches are Holy Ghost Catholic Church, Notre Dame Catholic Church, and St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Chippewa Falls, and St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church in Bloomer, both about 100 miles north of La Crosse.

According to a Chippewa County Sheriff’s Office police report, St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church had an “X” written in graffiti across the church doors and school doors sometime at night between July 2-3. On the sidewalk of the church were the words “Women” and “fetuses” with what appears to be a greater than symbol in between. In front of St. Peter Catholic School were the words “EX 21:22,” the report says. 

Exodus 21:22 reads, “If men quarrel, and one strike a woman with child, and she miscarry indeed, but live herself: he shall be answerable for so much damage as the woman's husband shall require, and as arbiters shall award.”

The perpetrator can be seen wearing a hood, a mask, and dark clothing, caught on camera during the act of the vandalism. 

Those same words were written in graffiti on the other three churches — which are all in the city about 20 minutes south of Bloomer  — according to Patrol Sergeant Drew Zehm of the Chippewa Falls Police Department.

However, he said, the statement about “Women and fetuses were not on all of the three city churches.” Zehm said that a person of interest has been identified in the vandalism of the Chippewa Falls churches. 

One of churches in Chippewa was vandalized last Wednesday night, and the other two were vandalized between Thursday night and Friday morning, he said. 

The Diocese of La Crosse did not respond to CNA’s request for comment by publication.

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