CV NEWS FEED // CatholicVote has launched a nationwide petition calling on Congress to take action to protect churches and pregnancy resource centers. CatholicVote President Brian Burch said Catholics and other concerned Americans must demand action as a critical anniversary approaches this week.
This Saturday will mark one year since the Biden Justice Department responded to a letter from Burch asking the agency to address an alarming rise in violence against Catholic churches.
Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta wrote in a letter replying to Burch: “We share your concern with and commitment to preventing and addressing acts of vandalism, property destruction, and other incidents that target religious symbols, shrines, statues, or churches. The Department is taking numerous steps to address such violence, consistent with our commitment to combat unlawful acts of hate in all their forms.”
Since Gupta’s January 28, 2022 letter, anti-Catholic attacks exploded throughout the country. But the Department of Justice has failed to take action, Burch says.
CatholicVote is marking the anniversary by calling on Catholics to sign a petition demanding that the Department of Justice “answer for its silence.”
“The violence has affected Catholics in 41 states, with hot spots in urban areas such as New York City, Los Angeles, Denver, Washington DC, and Boston,” the petition points out. “Incidents include arson, statues beheaded, gravestones defaced with swastikas and anti-Catholic language and American flags next to them burned, and more.”
At least 78 pregnancy resource centers and pro-life offices have been attacked and vandalized since a draft Supreme Court opinion overturning Roe vs. Wade was leaked in early May 2022. Pro-abortion domestic terrorists have claimed responsibility, and delivered on their promise of a “summer of rage“ with fire-bombings, spray-paint, written threats, and intimidation.
Fox News reported Monday on CatholicVote’s leading role in drawing attention to the attacks and the DOJ’s refusal to respond:
“While some of the attacks involved theft, the ‘vast majority’ of recorded incidents were simply destruction of property, which the group said indicates ‘that the primary motive is not material gain,’ the report said. …CatholicVote noted that only 25% of the church attacks it has recorded have led to an arrest.
In the 2021 letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland and the DOJ, Burch pointed to a federal statute which requires the attorney general to investigate and prosecute such crimes. “The vandalism we are seeing today is quickly rising to levels that haven’t been seen since the late 1800’s and early 1900’s from organized groups such as the Know-Nothings and the Ku Klux Klan,” Burch wrote.
Gupta’s January 2022 reply promised a “15-day review to ensure that all appropriate resources are being deployed to protect houses of worship.” But as CatholicVote has reported, “since then, there has been no evidence of specific action taken by DOJ, and the attacks have continued.”