The New York State Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH) has this week issued a statement questioning New York City Mayor Bill de Blasiso's "silence" on a "rise in hate crimes targeting Catholics."
A statement issued on August 11 by James Russell, the Catholic Action Chairman of the AOH, reads: "The New York State Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH) calls upon both Mayor de Blasio to publicly condemn the increasing acts of violence against the Catholic Church in New York City as exemplified by the vandalism this past weekend at Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Mary Church in The Bronx. Clothes were put in front of the statue of Our Lady and set on fire."
"The attack on the Statue of Our Lady is only the latest in a disturbing rise in hate crimes targeting Catholic Churches in New York City," the AOH statement says.
"On July 17, a statue of the Blessed Mother, and St. Therese of the Little Flower at Our Lady of Mercy Church in Forest Hills, Queens was destroyed. This was the second attack on the statues in a week.
On 7/17/21, at approx. 3:30 AM, an individual approached Our Lady of Mercy church, at 70-01 Kessel St, removed two statues and repeatedly slammed them to the ground causing them to break. ☎️ 1-800-577-TIPS@NYPDShea— NYPD Hate Crimes (@NYPDHateCrimes) July 18, 2021
@NYPDDetectives @NYPDchaplains @NYPD112Pct @QueensDAKatz pic.twitter.com/AQIHCgRFhK
"On May 28, the Blessed Mother statue at St. Adalbert’s in Queens was broken into pieces.
"On May 17, a Crucifix was vandalized at St. Athanasius Roman Catholic Church in Bensonhurst.
⚠️Arrested by members of @ATFNewYork Arson and Explosion Task Force, and @NYPDHateCrimes for this Criminal Mischief/Hate Crime, and @NYPD66Pct Arson at a Yeshiva and a separate robbery, and @NYPD72Pct Church Criminal Mischief/Hate Crime. @NYPDShea @NYPDDetectives @NYPDchaplains https://t.co/Cvm6Vd73hX— NYPD Hate Crimes (@NYPDHateCrimes) May 22, 2021
"On May 15, a vandal destroyed the statues of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and the Sacred Heart of Jesus outside Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Staten Island.
"The Mayor has 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 the Mayor concerning these heinous acts of hate targeting Catholics.
"We urge our members to contact Mayor Bill de Blasio and let him know that there can be no tolerance for acts of hate targeting people of faith, nor can there be a double standard of outrage.
"Mayor de Blasio’s office can be reached at 212-639-9675."
This is the second time in recent months that the AOH, the largest and oldest Irish Catholic organization in the US, has urged Mayor de Blasio to condemn such attacks.