Anti-Catholic vandals attacked a church in Scotland Monday in what is now the second act of anti-Catholic destruction in three days.
The culprits attacked the sanctuary of St. Simon Catholic Church in Glasgow Monday, destroying a statue, pushing down a shrine to Our Lady of Częstochowa and pushing over candles. Vandals also reportedly spray-painted “F*** the Pope” on a bus stop outside Holy Family Catholic Church in Mossend on April 27, LifeSite News reported. (RELATED: French Government, Media Largely Silent Amid Rise Of Church Vandalism: Christian Watchdog Group Director)
Disgusting destruction in St Simon’s Catholic Church Glasgow. Catholics just want to worship in peace and we are seeing more graffitti and vandalism. What are the parties doing about these issues? @NicolaSturgeon @LabourRichard @RuthDavidsonMSP pic.twitter.com/HN4lPG96gD
— Sancta Familia Media (@sfmmossend) April 30, 2019
Authorities are investigating both instances of vandalism, though police in Glasgow asserted there is no evidence that the attack on St. Simon’s had any sectarian motive. (RELATED: UK Foreign Secretary Lambastes World Governments For Being ‘Asleep On The Watch’ Against Anti-Christian Persecution)
“We received a report at around 4:20 p.m. on Monday, April 29 of vandalism at St Simon’s Church in Glasgow. Officers attended and inquiries are ongoing,” police said, according to Glasgow Live. “There is nothing to suggest that it was a hate crime or motivated by sectarianism.”
Catholic faithful and anti-sectarian groups took issue with the police’s assessment, however, saying that anti-Catholic incidents and church vandalism have risen sharply in the region.
“To me as a Catholic it doesn’t matter if they’re related or not because we’re seeing much more vandalism now,” a representative of the Catholic apostolate Sancta Familia Media told LifeSite concerning the graffiti and the church vandalism. “There’s just a general rise in anti-Catholicism in Scotland.”
The representative speculated that police denied any sectarian motivations in order to avoid raising “community tensions.”
He also noted similar anti-Catholic acts, such an Orange Walk parade participant spitting on a Glasgow priest in July 2018. The Orange Walk is a parade that celebrates British Protestant heritage. The representative also recalled an act of vandalism against a church in Coatbridge in March 2018, in which the culprit deliberately shattered the host used in Holy Communion on the floor.
Various Scottish politicians such as the leaders of the Scotland’s Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats and also decried anti-Catholic bigotry in the wake of the attack.
— Richard Leonard (@LabourRichard) April 30, 2019
— Willie Rennie (@willie_rennie) April 30, 2019
Solidarity. Another unacceptable and hate-filled attack on a place of worship. We must come together and challenge this. An attack on one faith is an attack on all faiths. #AFightForAllOfUs https://t.co/fhl2u3lvuE
— Anas Sarwar (@AnasSarwar) May 1, 2019
Supporters of the Catholic Church, however, have bristled at the lack of response from Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, leader of the Scottish Nationalist Party.
“A Labour MSP has shown his solidarity, so why can’t the first minister?” the Sancta Familia spokesman asked. “If this sort of thing is tolerated, what’s the next step?”
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