The tabernacle stolen from a Brooklyn church

NY Hibernians Decry Anti-Catholic Attacks

The New York State Ancient Order of Hibernians say they are are saddened by a report from the Family Research Council released in December, and which was reported by the New York Post, that documents "the surge in attacks against Catholic institutions in the United States."

Equally sadly, said the Hibernians in a statement, the New York Hibernians are not surprised given the rise of such attacks just within the city of New York.

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The statement lists a number of such attacks:

· The theft of a tabernacle and vandalism of the altar at St Augustine’s Roman Catholic church in Brooklyn’s Park Slope neighborhood.

· The vandalism of a shrine at Our Lady of Sorrows Church on the lower east side, where two statues depicting the young girls who were witness to a vision of the Virgin Mary were gruesomely beheaded

· The throwing of a wrench through the door of the residence of the Cardinal at St. Patrick’s Cathedral and additional attacks against the offices of the Archdiocese of New York.

· The heinous and senseless attack outside St. Nicholas of Tolentine R.C. Church on Goethals Avenue in Jamaica where video dramatically captured the wanton malicious destruction of a nativity scene.

Continued the NY AOH statement: "What is shocking and intolerable is the apathy of our elected officials. These crimes, and many more, are under-reported, under-investigated, and, in the rare occurrence when a perpetrator is caught, under-prosecuted. It is a second violation of the Catholic faithful when an object of devotion and reverence is treated as mere petty vandalism of property and not recognized as the act of hate and prejudice that it is.

"We would remind our elected officials that there is a long history of anti-Catholic bigotry in the U.S. It was in response to the attacks and the burning of Catholic Churches that the Ancient Order of Hibernians was formed in 1836.

"The Hibernians had hoped that we had moved beyond the bigotry of the “Know Nothings” and the intolerance of Thomas Nast. Yet, we now seem to be returning to the prejudice of the 19th century in America, and specifically the New York of the 21st.

"Disgracefully, these attacks on Catholic institutions are met with silence by elected officials, who, to be blunt, would be tripping over each other to get to a microphone to denounce similar attacks if committed against other faiths. Their silence regarding attacks on Catholic institutions is deafening and unacceptable.

We remind the Mayor, City Council, and the Governor of the legal maxim 'Qui tacet consentire videtur, ubi loqui debuit ac potuit,' 'He who is silent, when he ought to have spoken and was able to, is taken to agree.'

"The Ancient Order of Hibernians call on New York’s elected officials to stop being silent accomplices to anti-Catholic bigots and to conduct a full investigation on the rise of attacks against Catholic institutions and the response of law enforcement and the judicial system along with instituting programs to educate on the history of anti-Catholic bigotry and the need for tolerance."

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