BOULDER, Colo. — Statue by statue and wall by wall, crews worked to remove the graffiti, paint, and broken glass left behind after a night of vandalism at Sacred Heart of Mary Church in Boulder.
“We're disappointed that we can't have a peaceful conversation about such a hot topic and instead, people resort to violence. But we kind of understand, at least I do,” said parishioner Charlie Danaher.
Danaher has attended the church for years and says this isn’t the first time this has happened.
“We think this is related to an annual pro-life memorial we have on our front lawn every October," Danaher said. "For Respect Life Month, we put out 3,000 crosses, signifying how many abortions there are in the United States every single day. The first time this type of an attack occurred at our parish happened the first few days of October of last year. So this is a repeat."
The Boulder County Sheriff's Office confirmed deputies were called out to the church Wednesday morning for a report of vandalism. Investigators believe the incident happened Tuesday night and that there are multiple suspects.
The sheriff's office said the vandalism is similar in nature to last year's incident.
“The graffiti is similar in nature to what we saw at the church in September 2021 (anti-church, pro-choice messaging)," the sheriff's office said in a statement. "We can’t yet conclusively say that it is related to September’s incident, but the crimes are very similar in nature.”
Danaher believes the vandalism was motivated by the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion that shows a majority of the justices are poised to overturn the 1973 case Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion nationwide.
Still, he says the church isn’t living in fear.
“We don't really dwell on that," Danaher said. "Although we know, of course, that's the price that we may pay for being in this conversation and in this cultural battle, but we don't really dwell on that."
The Boulder County Sheriff’s Office says no arrests have been made in last year's vandalism case. For this most recent case, investigators are still collecting and reviewing evidence, including surveillance video.