CNA Staff, Jul 23, 2020 / 11:30 am America/Denver (CNA).
Leading U.S. bishops have released a joint statement on Wednesday, July 22, responding to the recent spate of vandalism against Catholic churches across the United States.
“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.
The archbishops said that the attacks on churches, regardless of the motivation behind the perpetrators, “are signs of a society in need of healing.”
“In those incidents where human actions are clear, the motives still are not. 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,” said the archbishops.
“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,” they added.