Vandals tagged a Catholic church in Colorado with anti-church and abortion messages earlier this week, prompting some to suspect the church’s pro-life stance and the possibility of Roe vs. Wade being knocked down, made him a target for the second time.
Police were called to Sacred Heart of Mary Church in Boulder on Wednesday morning to a report of vandalism. Investigators believe the incident took place on Tuesday evening and that several suspects were involved.
That same morning, crews worked to remove painted messages from the church building that read “Abortion Saves Lives” and “My Body My Choice.” In addition to the main building, crews also cleaned graffiti from church statues and removed broken glass from windows smashed by vandals.
“We’re disappointed that we can’t have a peaceful conversation about such a hot topic and instead people are resorting to violence. But we kind of get it, at least I get it,” parishioner Charlie Danaher said. in an interview Wednesday with KMGH.
Danaher said the church displays a pro-life memorial every October, which he says may have something to do with the incident.
“For Respect Life Month, we pulled out 3,000 crosses, which means how many abortions there are in the United States every day,” he said. “The first time this type of attack happened in our parish happened in the first days of October last year. So it’s a repeat.”
The parishioner also believes that the vandalism at the Sacred Heart of Mary was linked to the possibility that the Supreme Court could soon overturn Roe vs. Wade. The court is expected to rule in the coming months on whether to uphold Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban. Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization Case.
If the court rules in favor of the Mississippi ban, it could undermine the precedent set by deer. A leaked draft opinion released earlier this week suggests a majority of judges favor overturning the decision deer.
Danaher, who has attended the church for years, said the church does not live in fear, despite the vandalism.
“We don’t really dwell on that,” he said. “Although we know, of course, that’s the price we could pay to be in this conversation and in this cultural battle, but we don’t really dwell on that.”
The sheriff’s office also noted similarities between this year’s vandalism and a previous incident at the church.
“The graffiti is similar in nature to what we saw at the church in September 2021 (anti-church, pro-choice messages),” BCSO said in a statement to KMGH. “We cannot yet say conclusively that it is related to the September incident, but the crimes are very similar in nature.”
Although no arrests have been made in connection with last year’s vandalism case, the sheriff’s office is reviewing surveillance video of the most recent incident and gathering evidence.
Last September, vandals spray-painted abortion slogans and anarchist symbols on a truck in the church parking lot and on signs on church property.
Church members also believe this incident was linked to the white crosses the church places on its lawn to symbolize the number of children in the United States who have been killed by abortion.
“It was much worse than I had imagined in my mind,” Mark Evevard, the church’s youth director, said in a 2021 interview with KMGH. “We care about the unborn child, the sanctity of life until death.”
The youth director said he doesn’t expect everyone to agree with the church’s pro-life views. But he expected people to refrain from expressing their opinions through vandalism.
“It’s sad because they obviously tried to do as much damage in as little time as possible,” he said. “Even pro-choice people say, ‘We’re pro-choice, but that’s ridiculous and that’s wrong.
The Sacred Heart of Mary estimated at the time that repairs to the damage would likely cost thousands of dollars. If the vandals are arrested, the BCSO said they could face criminal charges, including criminal mischief, trespassing, bias-motivated crime or damage to property.
Still, Evevard revealed that he encouraged those of the Sacred Heart of Mary to pray for the vandals.
“We love people and we care about this person. I really hope the person or people, you know, get the help they need, the healing they need.”