The New York branch of the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH) has called on Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo to publicly condemn recent acts of vandalism against the Catholic Church in New York City.
The AOH cited several recent incidents, including the vandalization of two statues outside Our Lady of Mercy Roman Catholic Church in Forest Hills, Queens, on Saturday morning.
The NYPD says that a woman smashed a statue of the Blessed Mother and a statue of St. Therese the Little Flower at the church before proceeding to repeatedly smash them and drag them along the ground.
Parish priest Father Frank Schwarz said that the attack was heartbreaking and additionally said that the statues had stood outside the church since the 1930s.
The NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating the incident.
Meanwhile, police are also investigating vandalism at St. Adalbert Church in Elmhurst at the end of May after a 130-year-old statue outside the church was toppled and smashed to pieces.
Parishioners were distraught by the incident, while Councilman Robert Holden, who served as an altar boy at the church, described it as a "despicable crime".
"No religious symbol should be desecrated in our city," Holden wrote in a statement.
Police confirmed that the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force is also investigating the vandalism at St. Adalbert Church as a potential hate crime.
The AOH also pointed to the vandalism of a crucifix at St. Athanasius Roman Catholic Church in Bensonhurst in Brooklyn on May 17 and the vandalism of two statues outside Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Staten Island on May 15.
Ali Alaheri, 29, was arrested and charged with criminal mischief as a hate crime on May 21 in connection with the vandalism in Bensonhurst.
The AOH called on de Blasio and Cuomo to denounce the recent spate of anti-Catholic incidents.
"The Governor and the Mayor have been very quick to publicly and rightly condemn acts of faith targeting other faiths. However, we can not help but notice the disturbing, deafening silence from both the Mayor and the Governor concerning these heinous acts of hate targeting Catholics," the New York branch of the AOH said in a statement.
"We urge our members to contact Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio and let them know that there can be no tolerance for acts of hate targeting people of faith, nor can there be a double standard of outrage."