Hibernians shocked by attempt to burn Florida church

The AOH is shocked, saddened and appalled over church attack


By Irish Echo Staff

The Ancient Order of Hibernians has expressed its "shock and profound sadness" over "the senseless attack upon Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Ocala, Florida on Saturday, July 11, this "as parishioners were preparing for Mass.

According to police, a man crashed a minivan through the front door of the church and then ignited an incendiary device/accelerant causing a fire that resulted in extensive damage to the building. The man was arrested.

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"By the grace of God," said a Hibernian statement, "all those who were in the church were able to evacuate safely, but there can be little doubt that this was a direct attack against those who were seeking to peacefully celebrate their Catholic faith. We commend local authorities for their speed in apprehending the suspect."

The Hibernians, in their statement, added they they were "appalled at the conspicuous lack of national news coverage, particularly among the national broadcast networks, surrounding this blatant attack."

The statement said that the absence of national reporting concerning such an egregious attack against a Catholic church is at stark variance with past coverage of similar despicable attacks against other faiths."

And the statement continued: "This absence of coverage is particularly glaring given that this attack is only the latest in a wave of wanton destruction targeting Catholics including the vandalism of a Catholic church in Boston, a Catholic school in New York, and the ongoing investigation of a fire that destroyed the historic 249 year old San Gabriel Mission and over the same weekend.

"The Hibernians ask why such an outrageous attack targeting Catholics is less worthy of reporting than an attack on a house of worship of another faith or a public institution? The News Media needs to take accountability for its apathy and blatant double standard and the creation of a shameful 'hierarchy of outrage' in which hate targeting Catholics is not 'newsworthy.'

"We would remind national news editors of the Latin legal maximum 'qui tacet consentire videtu' (silence implies consent).

"Their silence on the rising tide of anti-Catholic violence is shameful," the statement concluded.

The San Gabriel Mission is just outside Los Angeles and the fire that devastated it was widely reported on national news sites and is under investigation.