Sen. Marco Rubio Demands Biden Protect Catholic Churches From Attacks


By Tyler Arnold

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio from Florida is demanding that President Joe Biden protect Catholic churches from the “growing number of attacks” levied against them since the United States Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. 

In a March 5 letter addressed to the nation’s second Catholic president, Rubio cited a CatholicVote tracker that found more than 400 attacks against Catholic churches since May 2020. The tracker, which was last updated on March 5, lists numerous examples of property damage, which include arson, statue destruction, rocks, and bricks being thrown through windows, and the spray painting of satanic messages. 

“These attacks are not random nor are they the result of a temporary lapse in judgment by perpetrators,” Rubio, who is Catholic, wrote. “They are motivated by a deep and abiding animosity towards religious institutions and people of faith.”

The senator noted the examples of recent attacks in New York, in which a woman set fire to a statue of the Virgin Mary, a person beheaded a statue of the baby Jesus, and an individual cut off the hands on a statue of Christ. 

Rubio complained in his letter that these acts “seldom result in any consequences for offenders” and demanded that Biden “make investigating, and fully prosecuting, these incidents an urgent priority for [his] administration.” He alleged that the administration has failed to address this problem adequately. 

“It should be of highest priority for your administration to protect and defend any group from violence,” the letter continued. “Yet, your administration’s passivity causes people of faith across America to seriously doubt whether you are willing and able to defend Catholic churches and their parishioners.”

Rubio further criticized the Biden administration for prosecuting pro-life activists under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act but failing to prosecute pro-abortion activists who damage and vandalize pro-life pregnancy centers. He also expressed concern with the leaked memo from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Richmond office, that revealed an investigation into a supposed link between traditionalist Catholics and white nationalist violent extremism.

“The First Amendment explicitly protects each individual’s right to freely exercise his or her religious beliefs,” Rubio said. “Among other things, the wave of attacks against Catholics suggest that many activists would like countless Americans to abandon their genuine religious faith and submit to a godless, progressive pseudo-religion. Irrespective of any value judgment on the ends of that goal, the means have proven to be anti-First Amendment, anti-American, and violent.”

In March of last year, a coalition of conservative organizations sued the Biden Department of Justice (DOJ) for failing to provide them with documents related to the attacks on churches and pro-life pregnancy centers. Attorney General Merrick Garland faced criticism from Republican senators during a hearing last year for alleged prosecutorial bias from the DOJ and the alleged anti-Catholic bias in the FBI memo.

Both Garland and FBI Director Chris Wray have denounced the memo. Regarding the alleged prosecutorial bias, Garland claimed the DOJ has put its “full resources” into prosecuting the attacks on pro-life pregnancy centers, but that perpetrators are “doing this at night in the dark,” which makes it more difficult to investigate than alleged pro-life violations of the FACE Act. 

“There are many more prosecutions with respect to the blocking of the abortion centers, but that is generally because those actions are taken with photography at the time, during the daylight, and seeing the person who did it is quite easy,” Garland said at the time.

Donald Trump, the former president and presumptive nominee for the Republican Party in the 2024 presidential election, has levied similar criticisms against Biden. He has accused Biden of persecuting political opponents, Christians, and specifically Catholics. 


The Catholic News Agency (CNA) has been, since 2004, one of the fastest growing Catholic news providers to the English speaking world. The Catholic News Agency takes much of its mission from its sister agency, ACI Prensa, which was founded in Lima, Peru, in 1980 by Fr. Adalbert Marie Mohm (†1986).

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