Church of the Sacred Heart of Mary in Boulder County vandalized with abortion rights messages

A Boulder County Catholic church has been vandalized for the second time in eight months, with the recent damage following a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade.

Property and statues at Sacred Heart of Mary Church, 6739 S. Boulder Road, were damaged overnight by graffiti bearing abortion rights messages and a window was smashed, officials said Wednesday. officials of the Archdiocese of Denver.

“My Body My Choice” was painted on a church door and “Keep Your Religion Off Our Bodies” on an outside wall. A van was damaged by graffiti, as were statues.

A similar attack occurred at the church in September, Mark Haas, a spokesman for the archdiocese, said in an email.

“We knew the next Supreme Court decision could lead to this again, so I can’t say we were entirely surprised this morning,” Haas said. “We’ve certainly had internal discussions about simple ways for parishes to improve their security.”

The Boulder County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident. A monetary estimate of the damage was not available Wednesday.

Vandalism reports

Since February 2020, the Archdiocese has received approximately 30 reports of vandalism, theft, or property damage to area churches. The overnight incident in Boulder is the first reported in 2022.

“We’ve definitely seen an increase over the past two years,” Haas said. “It is regrettable that attacks on our Catholic parishes have resumed, and very disturbing when our parishioners show up for Mass to find their church has been targeted.”

The archdiocese encompasses northern Colorado and includes 113 parishes, 307 priests, and approximately 550,000 parishioners.

“I know this is a very emotional question, with a lot of strong opinions, but I don’t think attacking a church where people are peacefully worshiping is really the best way to go,” Haas said.

In October 2021, the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in downtown Denver was the target of spray-painted hate messages.

The defendant in that case, Madeline Cramer, pleaded guilty last month to a charge of ethnic harassment-bullying, according to 9News. She was sentenced to two years probation.

Martha J. Finley