The Catholic Action League of Massachusetts today wrote to the Attorney General of the Commonwealth, Maura Healey, asking her to open a hate crimes investigation—under Chapter 265, Section 39 of the General Laws—regarding the ongoing vandalism of Catholic churches. Since December, four Catholic parishes in the Bay State have been the target of malicious property destruction of religious statues and stained glass windows by nocturnal vandals, three in the last six days alone.
- On December 8th, a brick was hurled through a one hundred year old stained glass window depicting Saint Thomas Aquinas at Saint Edith Stein Parish in Brockton.
- On March 25th, the evening of Good Friday, a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Saint Catherine of Siena Parish in Norwood was doused in black paint and defaced with graffiti.
- On March 27th, the evening of Easter Sunday, three statues, including one of Our Lady, were decapitated on the grounds of Saint Margaret’s Parish in Burlington. The statue of Our Lady also had its hands cut off, and rosaries were strewn on the ground.
- On March 29th, a statue of the Virgin was decapitated at Saint Mary’s Parish in Billerica.
At least eight Catholic churches have been the object of violent depredations in Massachusetts since January of 2012. The targeting and the particular method of destruction of the representations of Our Lady, could suggest a possible occult or Satanic connection.
In his letter to the Attorney General, Catholic Action League Executive Director C. J. Doyle stated: “The number and increasing frequency of these attacks upon Catholic churches, their malicious timing, coinciding with Catholic holy days, and the heartbreaking effects being suffered by the Catholic faithful, should not be treated by law enforcement as a mere accumulation of isolated incidents. As these criminal episodes have, in the past three months, occurred in Middlesex, Norfolk and Plymouth Counties, and in four different police jurisdictions, we urge the Attorney General’s Office to undertake an investigation of these acts of property destruction perpetrated against Catholic religious iconography, with a view to prosecute them as hate crimes.”