We shouldn’t overgeneralize from a small sample size, because America has a huge number of churches and a surprising number burn down each year for random reasons (e.g., outdated wiring, Protestant Lighting insurance fraud, and churches attracting firebugs and the ire of the insane), but it’s starting to sound like Barcelona in 1936 out there. From Catholic News Agency:
CNA Staff, Jul 11, 2020 / 12:40 pm MT (CNA).-
A massive fire devastated an eighteenth century mission church in San Gabriel, in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, July 11. Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles called the fire at San Gabriel Mission church, founded by St. Junipero Serra, “devastating.”
The fire began early Saturday morning around 4 a.m. and destroyed the roof and interior of the 249-year-old structure.
You know, California doesn’t have so many 249-year-old buildings that we can afford to have one burn down.
… “The roof of the mission is completely gone and the interior up to the altar is completely destroyed,” Negrete said, noting that it was not yet possible to establish the cause of the fire because of concerns over the building’s structural integrity.
But don’t worry, they’ll figure out the cause real soon now. By the way, that reminds me, have they figured out who or what burned down Notre Dame in Paris yet?
… Serra was canonized by Pope Francis during a visit to the United States in 2015.
… Despite Serra’s record defending indigenous peoples, statues of the saint have become focal points for protests and demonstrations across California in recent weeks, with images of the saint being torn down or vandalized in protest of California’s colonial past.
Rioters pulled down a statue of St. Serra in the state capital of Sacramento on July 4, during which one man burned the face of the statue with an ignited spray can, before a crowd pulled the statue from its base and struck it with a sledgehammer and other objects, dancing and jumping upon it.
Another statue of the saint was torn down in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, on June 19 by a crowd of about 100 people, and on the same day a statue of the saint was torn down in Los Angeles.
The July 11 fire came at nearly the same time a Florida man set fire to a Catholic parish as parishioners prepared for morning Mass.
Also from the Catholic News Agency today:
CNA Staff, Jul 11, 2020 / 02:25 pm MT (CNA).-
A Florida man lit a Catholic Church aflame on Saturday, while people inside prepared for morning Mass.
The Marion County Sheriff’s Office reported July 11 that deputies were called at about 7:30 am to Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Ocala, while parishioners inside prepared for morning Mass.
A man crashed a minivan through the front door of the church, and then lit a fire with people inside, the sheriff’s department said. One local media outlet, Orlando News 6, reported that man set the building ablaze by throwing an incendiary device.
The suspect is a 24-year-old white crazy man who is off his meds.
Dear Holders of the Megaphone: You spent years getting us to worry about “triggering” people. Do you ever worry that what you’ve been doing since May 24 might be triggering dangerous lunatics?