Masked arsonist breaks into Catholic church, lights it on fire. Pastor: We won’t close. We won’t let evil win.


TAMPA, FL – Along with attacks on police, there has also been a lesser known or at least lesser reported attack on Christians.  People like Shaun King and other liberal people state that the Christian faith is nothing more than another form of white supremacy. 

Which may be why a man recently broke into a Catholic Church and set it on fire.

The Tampa Bay Times reported that a masked man who broken into the Incarnation Catholic Church in Tampa on the weekend of the 20th.  Once inside, the man was seen on video wearing no shirt and throwing items at the glass on the exterior of the church until he was able to make entry.

When the man entered, he was seen wearing what appeared to be a surgical mask and carrying some type of large bottle in his hands. 

He then poured the contents of the bottle on three pews that were inside and lit them on fire.  The man then fled the church as the flames started to rise from the seats.

Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister reported that deputies and fire crews quickly responded to the scene and were able to put out the flames.  Despite their quick action, Chronister reported that the church suffered significant damage.

Father Michael Cormier reported that they had considered closing the church throughout the weekend in order to clean it and start repairs.  However, he felt that if he had followed through with that thought, evil would win out.  He said:

“But we thought: if we did that, evil would win.  We wouldn’t have Mass for one weekend, and evil would win.  We have been struck down by this, but not destroyed.  In the end, evil never wins…

“May this terrible act cause us to unify, to love one another more than ever, and to continue to make [our church] the bedrock of faith and strength it has always been.”

The man in this case has yet to be identified in this case.  Police are requesting that anyone who knows any information in this case that could lead to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator to contact the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

In another attack on the Catholic faith, this time in Queens, New York, someone entered onto the grounds of the Cathedral Preparatory School on July 10th.  The person or persons spray painted the word “IDOL” on a statue of the Virgin Mary.  Father James Kuroly decried the act as one of hatred.

On July 11th, a man later identified as Stephen Anthony Shields allegedly drove his vehicle into the front of the Queen of Peace Church in Ocala, Florida.  Once there, he exited his vehicle and doused the inside of the church lobby with gas and lit it on fire. 

The church sustained significant damage as a result of the arson.  Police later determined that Shields was the suspect in the case and took him into custody.  He was charged with arson, resisting arrest, and attempted second-degree murder as the church was occupied at the time of the arson.

On the same day, another person set fire to plastic flowers in the hands of the Virgin Mary statue in Boston.  The statue was located inside St. Peter’s Parish in the Dorchester neighborhood.  The fire caused damage to the face, head, and upper body of the statue. 

In another attack in Chattanooga, Tennessee, someone beheaded a statue of the Virgin Mary at knocked it over at the Saint Stephen Church.  Bishop Richard Stika tweeted:

“What a strange time when live it.  Over the weekend, a outdoor statue of the Blessed Mother was beheaded at St. Stephen Parish in Chattanooga.  This is occurring at various spots throughout the United States.”

The Archdiocese of Hartford, Connecticut also weighed in on the attacks on their churches.  They posted on Facebook:

Between the hours of 9 PM last night and 6 AM this morning, a person or group of persons had painted anarchist and…

Posted by Archdiocese of Hartford on Thursday, July 16, 2020

Between the hours of 9 PM last night and 6 AM this morning, a person or group of persons had painted anarchist and satanic symbols on the doors of St. Joseph Church in New Haven. This follows an apparent trend of desecrating Catholic spaces throughout the nation, as evidenced by incidents in Chattanooga, Queens, Boston, Sacramento, and Ocala.

“The underlying motive of these sacrilegious attacks is clear: to intimidate and instill fear in the hearts of those who worship Christ. However, our cherished Catholic faith has survived for 2,000 years in the faces of many different oppressors, and it is not about to yield now. Therefore, we remain unafraid and resolute in our faith, and we will pray for a conversion of the hearts of those who wish to terrorize us.

“Today, even in the midst of anti-Christian sentiment and actions, however, we do not answer hate with hate. To the contrary, these attacks make our love and unity stronger, and our prayers ever more steadfast. For as we learn in John’s Gospel, we cannot truly love God if we do not love our brother.”

Mosaic of Jesus and Mary vandalized, defaced with letters BLM after calls for depictions of “white” Jesus be torn down

Breda, Netherlands – It certainly didn’t take long for now religious depictions to see the vandalism that has been sweeping across memorials and statues throughout the world since the protests started ringing off in late-May.

In the city of Breda, a 1954 mosaic that depicts the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus was covered in spray paint, with the letters “BLM” hosted on the memorial.

Ironically, the memorial that was defaced was meant to commemorate when Polish soldiers helped liberate a Dutch city from the clutches of the Nazis during World War 2. But apparently historical relevancy isn’t that important to vandals with a can of spray paint.

Breda’s mayor, Paul Depla, noted that the vandalism of the historic representation of Our Lady of Częstochowa was “particularly sad for the Polish community, for which the monument is of great value.”

Even organizers of some of the recent protests within Breda admonished the act of vandalism shown toward the historic mosaic. Patrick van Lunteren said the following about how such acts distort the intended message of protesters:

“This hurts the Polish community and that is not the intention [of the demonstration]. People are now open to dialogue, but with these kinds of actions you lose sympathy.”

Polish-born Conservative MP and Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Poland Daniel Kawczynski said that the act was not only disrespectful toward the Polish soldiers who gave their lives to liberate the city from the Nazis, but it’s an insult to persons of faith as well:

“So many Polish soldiers died liberating Holland from the evils of Nazi occupation. The Madonna being vandalized adds to the shame for anyone like me who is a Christian, this is deeply hurtful.”

Frans Ruczynski, who was once a chairman of the General Maczek Museum, noted that the Polish population happen to be very religious in general, adding further insult to the desecration:

“Polish people are very religious. Every Sunday they go to church, with hundreds in Breda. Why would you want to hurt them? We don’t know if it comes from the left or right corner. But when it comes to Black Lives Matter, I don’t understand it. The Black Madonna has nothing to do with oppression at all.”

Coincidentally, the vandalism comes right around the same time a Black Lives Matter activist said that various statues and depictions of Jesus and the Virgin Mary should be torn down on Twitter – who has a following of over 1 million people.

Apparently, the Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King thinks that any statues or general depictions that showcase Jesus Christ with European features should be torn down.

This isn’t satire, he literally thinks that various depictions of Jesus Christ are a form of white supremacy.

In a post to Twitter, Shaun King stated the following:

“Yes, I think the statues of the white European they claim is Jesus should also come down. They are a form of white supremacy. Always have been. In the Bible, when the family of Jesus wanted to hide, and blend in, guess where they went? EGYPT! Not Denmark.”

Shaun King, who once worked as a pastor, then followed up his call to forcibly remove depictions of Christ with European features with yet another clarification:

“Yes. All murals and stained glass windows of white Jesus, and his European mother, and their white friends should also come down. They are a gross form white supremacy. Created as tools of oppression. Racist propaganda. They should all come down.”

For someone who was a pastor, he sure sullied the reason as to why Jesus Christ was taken to Egypt. As someone who is rather well versed in scripture, it had zero to do with trying to “blend in”.

What’s commonly known as the “Escape/Flight to Egypt” within the Gospel of Matthew, an angel actually spoke to Joseph in his dreams to forewarn that King Herod would seek to kill the baby Jesus. So, the angel advised Joseph to take Mary and Jesus to Egypt since Herod had no jurisdiction there.

Now aside from theological scripture, it seems as though Shaun King is attempting to rally up the populace of folks that have been toppling statues and monuments lately.  

That is a huge issue, needless to say, as he could be inciting not only riotous behavior, but also blatantly requesting specified acts of vandalism. If we’re being intellectually honest, there’s likely not a single church that is going to desecrate any depiction of Jesus.

Which can only lead to one likely conclusion – he wants vandals to enact it.

Now, Shaun King is complaining that he’s received death threats because of his call to tear down statues of Jesus Christ:

“Received about 20 death threats in the past 12 hours since I said that statues of white European Jesus are a tool of oppression for white supremacy and should be taken down. It pretty much proves my point. Your religion is actually whiteness with a Christian patina.”

First of all, I’d like to say “welcome to the club” when it pertains to death threats – I get them as well for simply being conservative and Christian.

While death threats are something that this author would never condone, I would also never create a call to action regarding engaging in vandalism.

While one could speculate that he wasn’t specifically telling miscreants to do the proverbial deed – it’s painfully obvious that his followers would be of the ilk to digest it as such.

One commenter on Twitter perfectly encapsulated why people are coming after Shaun King’s demonstrably tone-deaf call online:

“Translation- ‘I just said some really stupid unnecessary stuff about attacking one of the most protected institutions in the United States and I just don’t know why I’m being attacked for it.  I’m also not helping anything.’”

The fact of the matter is that if you recite a radical call to action, do not be surprised when you get an amalgamation of radical responses. A person cannot have their cake and it eat too, especially when the ingredients of said confection involve radicalism.

Since Shaun King was once a pastor, he should be well versed to know the scripture within Galatians Chapter 6, Verse 7:

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

Sounds like Shaun King managed to reap what he sowed.


Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today?  With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.

Make sure you click “following” and then click “see first” so you don’t miss a thing!  (See image below.)  Thanks for being a part of the LET family!

Facebook Follow First

Related Posts