A Texas man accused of stealing the tabernacle from St. Bartholomew the Apostle Catholic Church has been arrested and charged with burglary.
The Catholic News Agency reports the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston shared news of the arrest Friday after they reported the theft on May 8. The church is located in the Houston suburb of Katy, Texas.
Police arrested Christian James Meritt, of Katy, according to the Houston Chronicle.
“Thanks to the Katy Police Department’s diligent efforts and skill, a suspect has been apprehended and charged with burglary. It is our understanding the theft was not motivated by last week’s release of the draft Supreme Court opinion involving Roe v. Wade,” the archdiocese said in a statement.
Initially, the theft was believed to be part of a spate of vandalism, arson and threats against churches and pro-life organizations this month after a leaked draft ruling showed the high court overturning Roe. Around the same time as the tabernacle theft, someone spray-painted the words “pro-choice is pro-life” across the front doors and a side door of the Holy Rosary Catholic Church in nearby Houston.
The archdiocese said the tabernacle has not been recovered yet, but police are continuing the investigation.
“In any case, such a theft beyond material price is immeasurably hurtful to us and speaking theologically, is sacrilegious,” the statement continues. “We offer our profound gratitude to the Katy Police for their hard work in the investigation. We ask all to continue praying with us for the parish and all those involved in this matter.”
Catholic churches and pro-life organizations in Colorado, Maryland, Michigan, New York, Oregon, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin were targets of arson, vandalism and threats this month in connection to pro-abortion activists’ outrage about the U.S. Supreme Court.
A Catholic church in Boulder, Colorado was vandalized; the Catholic News Agency reports another Catholic church in Fort Collins also was vandalized with pro-abortion graffiti. There also have been reports of threats and vandalism at churches in New York City and Michigan. Pro-abortion protesters interrupted Mass at several Catholic churches across the country on Mother’s Day.
Several pro-life pregnancy centers also were vandalized, and police say a Wisconsin pro-life organization was lit on fire and vandalized. In another crime, authorities say someone threw Molotov cocktails into the Oregon Right to Life office, one of which exploded and caught the building on fire.
CBS News reported at least two police officers were injured when a pro-abortion rally turned violent in Los Angeles. During another protest in Washington, D.C., a Daily Wire reporter witnessed abortion activists shoving, spitting on and screaming obscenities at a small group of pro-life advocates who were counter-protesting.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, the author of the draft opinion, and his family also were moved from their home to a secure location due to threats and potential violence.
Pro-life advocates are concerned about more violent attacks in the coming days.
Two pro-abortion groups were calling for churches, especially Catholic Churches, to be the target of abortion activists’ outrage on Mother’s Day, with one urging activists to “rise up and raise hell!”
Abortion activists are trying to intimidate the Supreme Court justices to change their minds and uphold Roe after the leaked draft opinion showed the majority voting to overturn the infamous 1973 ruling. The draft is not final, judges can change their minds, and it is not clear when the high court will issue its final ruling on the abortion case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, but many believe the court will overturn Roe and allow states to protect unborn babies again.
Polls consistently show that most Americans support stronger legal protections for unborn babies than what Roe allows. LifeNews highlighted 11 recent polls here. A new Rasmussen poll shows more Americans want Roe v. Wade overturned (48 percent) than want the ruling to remain in place (45 percent).
Since 1973, more than 63 million unborn babies and hundreds of mothers have died in supposedly “safe, legal” abortions.