As authorities investigate reports of a pair of drive-by shootings that targeted a Catholic church in Colorado, church leaders are offering forgiveness to the perpetrator.
Two separate incidents of gunfire hit the exterior of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church in unincorporated Adams County north of Denver on Aug. 6 and 8.
No injuries were reported.
One of the incidents reportedly took place just hours before a wedding event at the church.
Security camera footage captured what appeared to be a motorcyclist firing a gun as they drove by the church in the initial incident, Deacon Derrick Johnson told The Christian Post.
The church’s pastor, Father Nick, discovered the damage as he was making his rounds on Saturday morning, according to Johnson, who added the incidents were “largely similar.”
Three shots were fired into the church’s exterior doors and glass on Saturday, while one shot was fired into the transom stained glass protector Monday morning, Johnson said.
A spokesperson for the Adams County Sheriff’s Office, which is handling the investigation, told CP “at this time, it does not seem like the church was specifically targeted.”
Johnson seemed to agree.
“With the time of the incidents, we don’t believe the motive is to hurt people,” he said.
Damages to the church are estimated to be between $50,000 and $75,000.
Despite the attack, Johnson said the church stands ready to forgive whoever is responsible.
“The parish is here for you … and so is the mercy and reconciliation of Christ,” he said. “We pray for the hurt in your heart and for you to come to know the love of Jesus and his church. We would love to speak with you and give you welcome here.”
In May, before the anticipated ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, another Catholic church in Colorado, Sacred Heart of Mary Church located in Boulder, was vandalized with anti-church and abortion messages for a second time.
That same morning, crews worked to remove painted messages from the church building that read,” Abortion Saves Lives” and “My Body My Choice.” In addition to the main building, crews also cleaned graffiti from church statues and removed broken glass from windows shattered by the vandals.
Since the Dobbs ruling, acts of vandalism and arson directed at churches and pro-life pregnancy centers have accelerated in several states.