Three Christian churches burned this weekend and people wonder if the haters have moved on from statues. One church was burned by an allegedly mentally ill man who does indeed hate the Catholic Church. It is unclear what caused the fires in the other two Christian churches, one Catholic, one Pentecostal.
QUEEN OF PEACE
On Saturday, a 24-year-old man named Steven Anthony Shields from Marion County drove into a Catholic Church and set it ablaze with parishioners inside. No one was hurt but there was extensive damage to the Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Ocala, Florida.
“Officials with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office said they were called to the Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Ocala Saturday morning after a man drove his vehicle into the front of the church and lit a fire,” reported WESH 2 News. “Deputies said the man then led them on a chase before being captured.”
According to the Associated Press, the attacker told detectives on the case that he is mentally ill, but had stopped taking his medication.
“Shields told detectives what he did was ‘awesome,’ and he smiled and laughed, the affidavit said,” the AP reported. “He told detectives he was ‘on a mission,’ called himself ‘king’ and that he has problems with the Catholic Church and referenced passages in the Bible’s Book of Revelations.”
The man intentionally crashed into the front doors of the church, got out of the van, and poured gasoline into the foyer, lighting it on fire. He then took off in the van.
He was charged with one count of Attempted Second Degree Murder, evidencing prejudice, a First-Degree Felony; one count of Arson to a Structure, and numerous other charges.
The NY Times reported that the San Gabriel Mission Church, a 200-year-old church recently restored, went on fire, destroying the interior and much of the outside.
The church was founded in 1771 by Rev. Junipero Serra. Pope Francis plans to canonize Father Serra.
The vile NY Times wrote:
The announcement was met with derision by Indian historians, who blame Father Serra for the suppression of Native American culture and the premature deaths at his missions of thousands of their ancestors.
Three years ago, someone tried to decapitate a statue of Father Serra but there have been no recent threats against the mission, Ms. Huerta said.
No one knows how the fire started.
— Joy Benedict (@joybenedict) July 11, 2020
FAITH TABERNACLE CHURCH
In Alabama on Friday, first responders were called to the Faith Tabernacle Pentecostal Church in Limestone County after the sanctuary caught fire.
“There is a lot of things you can look at and be thankful for in times like this,” pastor Jeremy Hill told WHNT News 19. “The good thing is no one was hurt, anything that was burnt can be replaced, and we are thankful for that.”
The fire destroyed the sanctuary, bathrooms, and fellowship hall, said Hill.
The cause of the fire remains unclear. The sheriff’s office is investigating.