Catholic Churches Attacked 400 Times Since 2020, Tracker Finds

Catholic Mass
by Mary Margaret Olohan


Catholic churches in the United States have been attacked at least 400 times over the past four years, according to data compiled by the Catholic advocacy organization CatholicVote.

The hundreds of attacks across the nation began in connection with widespread civil unrest in May 2020, CatholicVote said. Examples include church burnings, beheadings of statues of Jesus Christ or the Virgin Mary, swastikas painted on grave stones, satanic and blasphemous statements graffitied on walls, windows smashed, Masses disrupted, and even the murder of a Catholic priest.

The leak of the draft Supreme Court opinion overturning Roe v. Wade led to another spike in attacks—since then, there have been 236 attacks on Catholic churches.

CatholicVote has only found evidence of an arrest in about 25% of the cases it tracked and estimates that the attacks have caused around $25 million in physical damages to churches.

Many of these attacks are abortion-related and include graffiti such as “Jane’s Revenge” (a reference to Jane Roe of Roe v. Wade) or “If abortions aren’t safe, then neither are you,” indicating that the attackers could potentially be charged with violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, a law protecting churches, pro-life pregnancy centers, and abortion clinics that the Department of Justice has used to charge dozens of pro-lifers praying outside of abortion clinics over the past few years.

President Joe Biden’s DOJ has not charged any vandals with FACE Act violations in connection to attacks on churches, however.

“Catholics across America are effectively under siege while the Biden administration’s reckless refusal to enforce the law continues to allow anti-Catholic extremists to endanger law-abiding citizens of faith and destroy their places of worship,” said Tommy Valentine, director of the CatholicVote’s Catholic Accountability Project.

“These unacceptable acts of bigotry against Catholics, and really all Americans of faith, cannot be tolerated,” he added. “It’s time for every elected official to take seriously their solemn duty to protect all citizens, including religious Americans.”

The 400th attack that CatholicVote recorded involved transgender activists who used deception to hold a “sacrilegious funeral” at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City for an atheist, transgender-identifying prostitute, Cecilia Gentili, revered by LGBTQ activists as a “transgender icon” and advocate.

Funeral attendees dressed in fur, fishnet stockings, miniskirts, and even thongs, as photographs posted by Time magazine showed. And during the funeral service, transgender activists appeared to mock Catholic saints and repeatedly celebrated “whores.”

One of the organizers of the funeral said that St. Patrick’s Cathedral was not told that Gentili was a man who identified as a transgender woman. “I kind of kept it under wraps,” organizer Ceyenne Doroshow, a man who identifies as a woman, told The New York Times, explaining that St. Patrick’s is “an icon, just like her [Gentili].”

A livestream of the event depicts one of the funeral organizers describing Gentili as: “This whore. This great whore. St. Cecilia, mother of all whores!”

The funeral attendees also placed a picture near the altar, where priests celebrate the Catholic Mass, that depicted Gentili with a halo and the Spanish words for “transvestite,” “whore,” “blessed,” and “mother,” as well as the text of Psalm 25.

CatholicVote sent a letter to New York Attorney General Letitia James last week calling on her to investigate “the facts and circumstances surrounding the recent use of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City by transgender activists to deceptively gain access and advance ideas and beliefs hostile to doctrines of the Catholic Church, while openly mocking these beliefs.”

The letter reminded James that under New York’s hate crimes laws, “selecting the victim of a criminal trespass based on a religion or religious practice is a hate crime” and “New York’s court’s have recognized that those who gain access to property by deception are liable for criminal trespass.”

Neither James nor New York Gov. Kathy Hochul immediately responded to requests for comment from The Daily Signal as to whether such an investigation would be done. New York is second only to California when it comes to attacks on Catholic churches over the past four years, according to CatholicVote: New York has seen 45 acts of violence and vandalism, while California has seen 54.

Biden, though described by his staff and legacy media as a “devout Catholic,” has not commented on the hundreds of attacks. In 2020, former President Donald Trump’s campaign condemned the onslaught of anti-Catholic crimes occurring throughout the United States to the Daily Caller News Foundation, accusing “radical leftists” of attempting to destroy the “moral fabric of our nation.”

“The rise in violence against houses of worship, religious symbols, and sacred spaces is quickly becoming an epidemic across the country, led by radical leftists hellbent on destroying the very moral fabric of our nation,” Trump campaign deputy press secretary Ken Farnaso told the Daily Caller at the time.

The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to requests for comment from The Daily Signal.

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Mary Margaret Olohan is a senior reporter for The Daily Signal. She previously reported for The Daily Caller and The Daily Wire, where she covered national politics as well as social and cultural issues. Email her at





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