NY Gov. Hochul’s refusal to address church attacks draws criticism after her thorough response to mosque incident

A series of attacks on churches in New York state have critics crying foul, as Gov. Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, remains quiet about the violence.

Her refusal to address attacks on Catholic…

A series of attacks on churches in New York state have critics crying foul, as Gov. Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, remains quiet about the violence.

Her refusal to address attacks on Catholic churches, especially, has irked one group, Catholic Vote, which said that the state refuses to use the same standards under the law to protect Christians that it uses to protect others.

Other critics have said Hochul’s silence and liberal hostility to the religious in America actively encourages violence against Christians. 

Hochul’s silence stands in contrast to her vocal condemnation of attacks on Islamic mosques and her deployment of state law enforcement to investigate attacks on the Islamic community, Catholic Vote told The Lion. 

“We share Governor Hochul’s outrage over intimidation and harassment of the Muslim community, but her statement rings hollow given her silence on the continued attacks against Catholics in New York,” said Tommy Valentine, director of Catholic Vote’s Catholic Accountability Project. 

The governor also boasted online Monday about her meeting with local Islamic leaders over “harassment,” again failing to mention the violence against churches. 

February saw a series of attacks in New York on Catholic churches, in Queens, the East Village and Brooklyn, which included “outbursts of violence,” a smashed statue of Jesus and broken stained-glass windows worth more than $10,000. 

Multiple attempts by The Lion to reach the governor by email and phone for comment about the attacks suffered by Christians went unanswered. 

However, Hochul was quick to condemn the harassment of Islamic mosque-goers, when a man trespassed in a Melville, New York Islamic center, shouting political slogans.   

“Deeply disturbed by this incident at the Islamic Center of Melville,” wrote Hochul on X. “I’ve directed @nyspolice’s Hate Crime Task Force & @NYSHumanRights to offer support for the community. Anyone harassing members of the Muslim — or any other — community based on faith must be held accountable.”  

The post comes as the Catholic Archdiocese of New York City continues to denounce the hijacking of St. Patrick’s Cathedral for the funeral of a transgendered activist, an avowed atheist, whose gender identity and religious beliefs were hidden from church officials, according to the rector of the Cathedral, Father Enrique Salvo.  

“That such a scandal occurred at ‘America’s Parish Church’ makes it worse; that it took place as Lent was beginning, the annual forty-day struggle with the forces of sin and darkness, is a potent reminder of how much we need the prayer, reparation, repentance, grace, and mercy to which this holy season invites us,” said Salvo in a statement. “At the Cardinal’s directive, we have offered an appropriate Mass of Reparation.” 

Catholic Vote’s Valentine told The Lion the hypocrisy of Hochul is obvious.  

“There have been 45 acts of violence and vandalism against Catholic churches in the state in the last four years, including 31 since she became governor,” said Valentine. “She has refused to offer state law enforcement resources to protect Catholic churches, and she has yet to direct the Attorney General to investigate the hijacking of St. Patrick’s Cathedral last week. The double standard is glaring.” 

Her silence also stands in contrast to the condemnation of church attacks that have come from one Islamic group, who urged law enforcement to investigate the incident at the Brooklyn church. 

Video shows vandals trying to pull a crucifix down from the exterior of the church and smashing a stained-glass window, according to the New York Post.   

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) reports that at least 312 incidents of violence against Catholic churches have occurred across 43 states and the District of Columbia since May 2020.  

“Incidents include arson, statues beheaded, limbs cut, smashed, and painted, gravestones defaced with swastikas and anti-Catholic language and American flags next to them burned, and other destruction and vandalism,” said the USCCB.  

Hostility against Christians has become so pronounced that the Family Research Council (FRC) is now publishing an annual report on the “hostility against churches in the United States.”  

“Between January and November 2023, at least 436 acts of hostility against churches took place in the United States, more than double the number FRC identified in 2022,” said the FRC report.  

There were 315 occurrences of vandalism, 75 arson attacks or attempts, 10 gun-related incidents, 20 bomb threats and 37 “other” incidents, said FRC.  

FRC President Tony Perkins said it’s not just the silence by Hochul and her fellow progressive politicians that’s causing the uptick in attacks on the religious in America; liberal leaders are actively encouraging such hostility.   

“Under Joe Biden, men and women at the highest levels of government have not only condoned religious intimidation, they’ve encouraged it – refusing to investigate, hold culprits accountable, or worse, targeting Christians themselves,” wrote Perkins. “From the FBI to IRS, the Biden administration has spent the last three years criminalizing Americans with biblical views, only to turn around and complain about threats to democracy. What bigger threat is there than a government weaponized against its own people?”