Northern Colorado Parish Church tagged with pro-abortion graffiti; police investigate – Catholic World Report
Denver, Colorado, May 9, 2022 / 3:35 p.m. (CNA).
A northern Colorado Catholic parish church known for its active pro-life ministry was vandalized with pro-abortion graffiti over the weekend.
St. John XXIII Parish in Fort Collins, about an hour north of Denver, was the latest target in Colorado following similar graffiti discovered at a Boulder parish several days earlier.
Images shared with CNA show red spray-painted inscriptions of “My Body My Choice” and a symbol that appears to be an “A” meaning “anarchy”. Police said the incident happened at around 1.15am on Saturday May 7 and “exterior glass panels” were also smashed.
St. John XXIII is located near the Colorado State University campus and has served many of the college’s Catholic students since its founding in the 1960s. The parish is located just around the corner from an abortion clinic Planned Parenthood.
Luke Hecker, a project manager at the parish, told CNA that the parish is known for its pro-life advocacy, with parishioners frequently crossing the street to protest peacefully outside the abortion clinic, directly across from the college.
Hecker said he was “saddened, but not too surprised” that the parish was targeted.
“It’s very obvious to the community that John XXIII is a very pro-life parish,” he said, noting that the parish is currently raising funds from Catholic Charities and Marisol Health to open a pro-life pregnancy center. -lives in a vacant building that she then owns. door.
The graffiti incident comes after the May 2 revelation of a leaked U.S. Supreme Court draft opinion suggesting the court is set to overturn Roe v. Wade, which would allow states to restrict or ban abortion.
Fort Collins Police announced an investigation into the incident and said that due to the location and nature of the content of the graffiti, they are investigating the incident as a bias-motivated crime. No damage was found in the church, police said, and the scene was treated for evidence. Police have yet to announce any suspects, but have urged the public to share any information they have.
“Using fear and destruction to make a point is completely unacceptable. If you want to make your voice heard, do it by exchanging thoughts and ideas, not by committing criminal acts,” Police Chief Jeff Swoboda said in a statement.
“We need anyone with information to come forward so this suspect can be held accountable,” he continued, urging anyone with information to contact police at www.stopcriminals.org.
The appearance and style of the graffiti appears similar to that which appeared on a Catholic church building in nearby Boulder a few days earlier. Sacred Heart of Mary Parish was defaced with pro-abortion slogans on the evening of May 3, marking the second time in less than a year that the parish has been the target of such graffiti.
Colorado has some of the most permissive abortion laws in the country, codified by Governor Jared Polis earlier this year. The state allows abortion up to the point of birth. Boulder, about an hour south of Fort Collins, is where Warren Hern, a prolific abortionist who has performed thousands of late-term abortions, owns and operates his clinic.
Spokesperson Mark Haas told CNA that the Archdiocese of Denver has recorded at least 30 incidents of vandalism, property destruction and theft since February 2020. The Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Denver has been targeted by anti-Catholic slogans in October 2021.
Ruth Sent Us, an online pro-abortion advocacy group, had threatened to disrupt Catholic Masses with pro-abortion protests on Mother’s Day on Sunday. Demonstrations took place in churches in New York and Los Angeles.
The headquarters of a Madison pro-life organization – Wisconsin Family Action – was set on fire in an apparent arson attack, police said on Sunday. No one was hurt. Graffiti left outside the building read, “If abortions aren’t safe, neither are you.”
Reports of vandalism at churches and other Catholic sites appear to have increased in recent years, amid the pandemic, political protests and civil unrest. While some crimes against churches appear to be committed by the mentally ill or by minors, other crimes appear to be motivated by anti-Catholic animosity or support for abortion.
There were a series of reports in the weeks leading up to March this year, which included vandalism to Catholic Church buildings, schools and cemeteries.
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