I entered the Catholic Church in 1989, so I’ve no personal memories of this, yet have been told there was a time in American history when our cemeteries were vandalized and desecrated by those disgruntled with the Catholic community. Does anyone have any knowledge of this…? If so, are there any books that can be referenced…? Thank you…!
Vintage, when I was very young, about 50 years ago, a young man drove his car into our small cemetery, tearing up the landscape and knocking over and breaking headstones and statues that were nearly 100 years old. This was a sample of the anti-catholic hatred in my small town. I’m sure it was published in our weekly newspaper. Would that be official enough for you? As remarkable as this story was I think the parish priest’s example of love and respect for the young man was even more remarkable; no jail time, he just spent the summer cleaning up the mess he made.
You might want to look in histories of the Irish in America.
I’m not sure of cemeteries being desecrated but anti-Catholicism was huge in the 1840s onward. Catholic churches were attacked by mobs and churches and convents were burned so I imagine cemeteries wouldn’t be respected either.
The Irish Protestants and the American Gangs of the 1800s were primarily protestant and didn’t take well to the Catholics moving in next door. Lots of bloodshed and violence as you can imagine. It just migrated from Ireland to here. It continued in Ireland as you know. There seems to always be a pretty anti catholic tone in each protestant denomination…most don’t even realize they are doing it anymore. None the less its bred into them.
Desecrating cemeteries is one of the sadly common ways one group expresses hatred and intolerance of another group.
History, including recent history is rife with it. Hits people on so many deep emotional levels. It’s an act of terrorism. Terrorism is an act that is aimed at demoralizing and instilling fear and dread in a larger group of people.
Seeing it makes me heartsick, even when it’s not aimed at my particular demographic.