CNA Staff, Sep 26, 2020 / 12:30 pm
A Catholic cathedral in California was defaced overnight, with swastikas, an upside-down cross, and other messages spray-painted on the church’s doors and entryways.
“This morning our beloved Cathedral was defaced with pentagrams, upside down crosses, white power, swastikas, BLM, etc. It reminds us to pray for my brethren in Iraq that are facing persecution. Pray for the criminals who did this,” St. Peter’s Chaldean Catholic Cathedral in El Cajon, California said in a statement posted on Facebook Sept. 26.
The cathedral is the seat of the Eparchy of St. Peter the Apostle of San Diego, an Eastern Catholic diocese of roughly 70,000 Catholics.
A video posted by the cathedral on Facebook showed numerous, seemingly opposed, symbols spray-painted on the church’s edifice and doors: swastikas, “White Power” and “WP,” alongside upside down crosses, “BLM,” standing seemingly for Black Lives Matter,” and “Biden 2020.”
Some symbols were indecipherable, others represented slogans or ideologies not ordinarily associated with each other, raising questions about what might have motivated the vandalism.
The Chaldean Catholic Church is an Eastern Catholic Church of more than 600,000 people. Headquartered in Baghdad, the Chaldean Catholic Church counts among its members Catholics in Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Syria, and in numerous Western countries. The Church has grown in the U.S. in recent decades, amid an influx of refugees and immigrants from the Middle East.
The vandalism comes amid a spate of similar incidents at Catholic churches that has lasted for months. Earlier this week a man burned pews in an arson attack in a Florida Catholic church, and a man with a baseball bat damaged a crucifix and several doors at a Texas seminary.