Aleteia logoAleteia logoAleteia
Tuesday 27 September |
Saint of the Day: St. Vincent de Paul
Aleteia logo
News
separateurCreated with Sketch.

Teens charged for setting fire to historic Catholic church

289613768_5563967876967431_6726402238719751206_n-1.jpeg

Beaver VFD | Facebook

Aleteia - published on 07/15/22 - updated on 07/15/22

West Virginia State Police and the state Fire Marshal have worked to bring about justice following the arson of St. Colman Catholic Church.

Three teens — Braxton Miller, 18, James Elmore, 19, and one juvenile — were charged Wednesday with arson in Raleigh County, West Virginia.

The target of their crime, St. Colman Catholic Church, was built in 1878 and has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1894, WCHS-TV reported.

Bishop Mark Brennan, bishop of the Diocese of Wheeling Charleston, lamented the loss of the church, saying, “We are deeply saddened to learn that the fire was considered an act of arson and was intended to destroy this historic structure so important to the lives of many in the area.” 

The fire was set Saturday evening, but was reported Sunday morning, June 26.

“While this criminal act can be very shocking and hurtful to the faithful, it can never destroy the memories of the Catholic community who built, maintained, and lived out their faith in that little church on Irish Mountain,” the bishop added.

Rise in attacks on churches

The attack is numbered among a string of attacks on Catholic churches and pregnancy resource centers following the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Dobbs v. Jackson, in which the court overturned Roe v. Wade, on June 24. It is not known whether the arson of St. Colman’s is connected to the court’s decision.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops reports that attacks and acts of vandalism against Catholic churches in the United States were on the rise even before the Supreme Court’s abortion ruling. Since May 2020, there have been at least 154 incidents, occurring in 37 states.

Tags:
Catholic ChurchUnited States
Support Aleteia!

Enjoying your time on Aleteia?

Articles like these are sponsored free for every Catholic through the support of generous readers just like you.

Thanks to their partnership in our mission, we reach more than 20 million unique users per month!

Help us continue to bring the Gospel to people everywhere through uplifting and transformative Catholic news, stories, spirituality, and more.

Support Aleteia with a gift today!

jour1_V2.gif
Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Entrust your prayer intentions to our network of monasteries


Top 10
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.