Hibernians Upset, Angry, Over Desecrations

The torn down crucifix in the grounds of St. Athanasius Church in Brooklyn. The crucifix includes the figure of Christ.

By Irish Echo Staff

The Ancient Order of Hibernians has issued a call to action after a crucifix was torn down and an American flag burned at St. Athanasius Roman Catholic Church in Brooklyn.

"This occurrence is only the latest of a series of disturbing attacks against various Catholic institutions and parishes throughout the country," said a statement from the AOH New York State Board in response to the May 14 desecration.

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Added the statement: "There have been at least seventy incidences of arson, vandalism and other destruction of Catholic churches and schools since May 2020, including the deliberate torching of the historic San Gabriel Mission in California and the crashing of a minivan through the front door at Queen of Peace Church in Florida where the man proceeded to ignite an incendiary device.

"The Ancient Order of Hibernians remain vigilant in our mission to protect our Catholic churches and schools from any manifestation of anti-Catholicism, which Professor Philip Jenkins called the last acceptable prejudice in America.

"This anti-Catholic prejudice manifests itself in the lack of interest and attention by our local and national media and our elected officials on the dramatic increase in both numbers and intensity of hate crimes against the Catholic institutions.

"Such deliberate acts of violence targeting the destruction of images and buildings sacred to the Catholic community reflects a disturbing trend and should draw condemnation from across the political spectrum and should be widely reported in the national media.

"Similar hate crimes against the Asian community and other communities of faith have rightfully garnered a significant amount of media attention and vigorous political action by our political leaders in New York and Albany. Where do they stand on hate crimes against the Catholic community?

We call on Governor Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio and our local elected officials to publicly recognize the increasing number of attacks and strongly condemn these cowardly acts of violence against the Catholic community and invest more resources into protecting our Catholic churches and schools."

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