Christmas Day attack: Vandals carved ‘666’ on doors of Pennsylvania cathedral

Christmas Day attack: Vandals carved ‘666’ on doors of Pennsylvania cathedral

The numbers “666” were carved into three separate front doors of the historic Cathedral of Saint Peter in the Diocese of Scranton, Pennsylvania. / Diocese of Scranton

Boston, Mass., Dec 30, 2022 / 14:55 pm (CNA).

Father Jeffrey Tudgay, pastor of the Cathedral of Saint Peter in the Diocese of Scranton, Pennsylvania, discovered on Christmas evening that the historic church had been vandalized.

The numbers “666” were carved into three separate front doors of the cathedral.

“I am hoping the individual responsible for the vandalism will come forward and allow me to have a conversation with them,” Tudgay said in a Dec. 26 press release from the Diocese of Scranton.

“We are a people of prayer who minister in a troubled world but the mission and message of Christ’s Church is one of forgiveness and reconciliation,” he said. “While we are upset at the actions that took place, we also understand the need to forgive and be forgiven.”

Police were notified of the vandalism and the cathedral’s security cameras will be checked for information on the perpetrator, the press release said. It’s unclear what time the crime was committed, but the last Christmas Day Mass at the cathedral was at 12:15 p.m., the press release said.

“The vandalism discovered at our Cathedral, especially as we celebrated the Nativity of Our Lord, saddens me greatly,” Bishop Joseph Bambera of Scranton said in the press release.

“The doors of our Cathedral have been used countless times to bring people closer to God and it is my hope that the person who did this will regret his or her actions. I am offering my prayers for whoever did this and for their reconciliation to God,” he said.

The diocese is asking anyone with information on the vandalism to contact Scranton police at (570) 348-4130.

The Cathedral of Saint Peter in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Billy Hathorn|Wikipedia|CC BY-SA 3.0
The Cathedral of Saint Peter in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Billy Hathorn|Wikipedia|CC BY-SA 3.0

Catholic churches, along with pro-life pregnancy centers, maternity homes, and other pro-life organizations across the nation came under attack in 2022.

A rise in reports of attacks on these institutions began in early May when a draft of a US Supreme Court decision was leaked to the media indicating that the court was poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark case that legalized abortion nationwide.

Since then CNA has tracked 33 churches, 56 pregnancy centers, one maternity home, three political organizations, six billboards or ads, one political figure, and one memorial that have been vandalized or attacked in the name of abortion rights.

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