- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 7, 2021

DENVER — A Catholic church in Boulder County, Colorado, was vandalized Sunday with pro-abortion graffiti in what police described as a “bias motivated” crime, the latest in a surge of national anti-Catholic attacks.

Worshipers arrived for Mass at St. Louis Catholic Church in Louisville “to find abortion graffiti defacing the church sign, sanctuary entry doors, garden sign, and the walls surrounding the building,” the local police department said Monday in a statement.

The spray-painted messages included “My body my choice” and “Bans off our bodies.” Vandals also sprayed over the word “Life” on a “Respect Life” garden stone to make it read, “Respect bodily autonomy,” as shown in photos posted by the police.

“The actions of these individuals are not representative of the residents of Louisville, nor do they reflect the mission of our city,” said Louisville Police Chief Dave Hayes. “The true representation of the community in Louisville are those that surrounded St Louis Catholic Church and helped remove the graffiti Sunday after Mass.”

He asked the public to help identify three individuals shown on surveillance video approaching the church at about 1:30 a.m. Sunday.

Louisville police described the vandalism as “bias motivated criminal mischief.”

The attack in Louisville, an upscale suburb of about 20,000, follows a national spike in vandalism and criminal mischief against Catholic churches, murals and statuary that began last summer amid the George Floyd protests.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which keeps a tally of the incidents, reported as of Aug. 24 at least 93 incidents in 28 states since May 2020, including “arson, statues beheaded, limbs cut, smashed, and painted, gravestones defaced with swastikas and anti-Catholic language and American flags next to them burned.”

Several attacks have occurred in Colorado. In June, the historic Holy Ghost Catholic Church in Denver was tagged with anti-Catholic graffiti, according to the Catholic News Agency.

In February, a woman was shown on video footage smashing and throwing items, including a statue and flower baskets, at the altar of St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in Denver, KDVR-TV reported.

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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