In response to repeated acts of vandalism against St. Andrew Catholic Church in Eagle River, the Archbishop of Anchorage-Juneau has issued a letter calling the crimes an “attack on the dignity of each person and their religious practice.”

Twice within the past six months, St. Andrew’s has been hit with vulgar spray-painted images on the outside walls and doors of the church. The night before Thanksgiving, a vandal painted nine large phallic symbols on the church. The images are nearly identical to those sprayed on the building in May, when nails were also scattered across the parking lot. That initial vandalism occurred one day after the U.S. Supreme Court’s draft opinion was leaked, indicating that it was about to overturn Roe v. Wade. It was also the night before the parish hosted a widely publicized talk on gender identity by conservative Catholic author and speaker Jason Evert.

“We do not know what has motivated people to do these serious and disturbing actions,” Archbishop Andrew Bellisario wrote on Dec. 9. “These are especially significant in the context of the many expressions of anger that have become so commonplace in our society, our political system, and even our Church. This must be called out for its attack on the dignity of each person and their religious practice.”

There have been more than 250 attacks against U.S. Catholic churches since the start of 2020.

Other faith-based Alaska entities have also been targeted by vandals this year. In June, a prominent pro-life pregnancy center in Anchorage was vandalized with graffiti, a broken front door and nails placed upright in the cracks of the parking lot. That attack came during a national wave of damages suffered by pro-life centers and churches in the wake of Roe v. Wade being overturned.

Then, in August, Ammo-Can Coffee, a popular coffeeshop among conservative-minded, faith-filled Alaskan patriots on the Kenai Peninsula, had the words “TRAITORS” sprayed on its outside windows. The store’s locks were also filled with superglue.

Archbishop Bellisario urged Alaska Catholics to “do what we can to promote peace and respect and restore the trust and security upon which healthy human relationships depend.”

Bellisario called on the faithful to continue being a witness of the Christian faith through “prayer, seeking love and reconciliation in the face of hopelessness, misplaced anger, and intolerance.”

He added that the archdiocese is also beefing up security measures to prevent future attacks.


“In these measures, and in any response to disruptive and violent actions that do take place, our ministers and staff members will cooperate fully with law enforcement authorities, seeking their immediate and sustained intervention and assisting in any criminal investigations,” Bellisario noted.

The letter ended with a call to pray during the Advent and Christmas seasons for those who are “consumed with feelings of hopelessness, despair, and paralyzing anger, that they may find the healing, peace, and grace that our Lord, Jesus Christ, offers through His Incarnation.”

CatholicVote, a national Catholic advocacy group, launched an interactive map earlier this year documenting attacks on Catholic churches since 2020. According to the group, there have been more than 250 attacks against U.S. Catholic churches since the start of 2020. This includes arson, spray-painting and graffiti of satanic messages; rocks and bricks thrown through windows; and beheaded statues.

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Alaska archbishop says repeated church vandalism undermines human dignity, religious practice

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.


  • Dawn Wolski says:

    Why are these attacks not being followed up as hate crimes?
    If any other group was so obviously targeted it would be.

    • CD says:

      Exactly! Now we know the real intention of hate crimes and they need to be eradicated. Your going to jail for your motive?! Then all of us belong in jail.

  • Neil DeWitt says:

    It’s so sad that people are so consumed with hate because of the liberals agenda that they turn to doing things like this. Thete is no call for it. The Catholic Church didn’t do anything to these people. Yes the church gave opinions and said MURDER (abortion) was wrong but if these people have any upbringing they should already know that. Abstinence doesn’t cause babies. Their feeling/needs are running their lives. These people need to get a grip on reality and learn to control their lives and emotions. GOD be with you people doing these things to the Catholic church’s. I’ll pray to GOD for helping you all.

  • John J Otness says:

    Vandalism aint cool… Are people showing disdain from pedophile priests? those acts are a debilitating cancer also.

  • Robert Bird says:

    It only took the bishop 6 months to respond to these attacks. Well, at least it is faster that the Merrick “Justice” Dept. I wonder why he acted a lot faster when faithful Catholics wanted to hold a Way of the Cross prayer walk during Easter Covid?

  • DoneWithIt says:

    Oh, the horror of horror of spray paint.
    Give me a break.
    What this archbishop did to Holy Rosary Academy is EVIL. He supports all the LGBTQ and climate change crap. He is working tirelessly to stop the Latin Mass. He supports Pope Francis who is undermining everything that is traditional Catholicism.

    • DoneWithIt says:

      Additionally, his alleged homosexuality, as exemplified by his repeated policy decisions – giving communion to Murkowski despite her repeated unwavering support of abortion and everything LGBTQ and his support Sullivan to r3crive communion despite him voting for the homo, commie, trannie marriage bill – tells you EVERYTHING about this “mans” character a d values…

      • Buck Melanoma says:

        Don’t forget about him dictating to Lumen Christi that they have to sever ties with the mats veterans foundation who have been holding their gun shows there for a long time. The bishop and nearly all the Anchorage clergy are all liberal. They kick the conservative clergy to the end of the road.

  • Therese Syren says:

    Wow, how dare you speak that way to Archbishop Bellisario! I disagree deeply with many decisions he has taken, but it is so terrible to throw out charges, judge his motives and speak so disrespectfully to him!

    • Tamra Nygaard says:

      More to the point, how dare he speak that way to the people who fund his Churches and lifestyle? Perhaps were he more concerned with the good of his flock and less with his own exercise of power he might discover that one will lead to heaven and the other….

    • CD says:

      Is it the truth though?

  • Friend of Humanity says:

    I don’t know anything about this Archbishop and cannot speak to what he is pushing or supporting. I do have to say that if there is vandalism happening to his building(s) that is not good and the community should be working with him to stop it because vandalism is vandalism.

  • Matthew myers says:

    Frolick Around and Find Out. This Arch cozies up to the left and pro abortion politicians. He encourages them and persecutes anyone who shows actual concern for their souls (Holy Rosary teaching the full Catholic Faith or an excellent Priest that refuses to feed fake Catholics like Murkowski damnation through sacrilegious Communion). This Arch has coddled and encouraged this response. He has culpability.

  • No, really says:

    I think the vandal didn’t target the church for any ideological reasons. This adolescent male recently found a new organ function and wanted to share in his discovery. The church structure just has a receptive “canvas”, if you will.