Police identify suspect in Denver cathedral vandalism

Alejandro Bermudez   By Alejandro Bermudez for CNA

Madeline Ann Cramer (r) interrupting Mass at St. Frances Cabrini in Littleton, Colo., Oct. 10, 2021. / via YouTube

Denver, Colo., Nov 3, 2021 / 17:14 pm (CNA).

Metro Denver Police announced Nov. 2 that the individual who allegedly vandalized the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception Oct.10 is Madeline Ann Cramer, 26, who supports abortion rights.

Cramer used red spray paint to vandalize Denver’s Cathedral with anti-Catholic slogans.

Photos shared by local news reporters showed slogans such as “Satan Lives Here,” “White Supremacists,” and “Child Rapists, LOL”, as well as swastikas, written in bright red spray paint on the outside of the cathedral building, sidewalks, and on the base of a statue of St. John Paul II.

The graffiti has since been cleaned off with the help of parishioners and other volunteers. The paint was power-washed off the main doors, Father Sam Morehead, rector of the cathedral, told CNA shortly after the incident.

Father Morehead said Oct. 11 that the assailant seemed to have some “deep personal wounds and grievances” against God and the Church.

Archdiocese of Denver spokesman Mark Haas has said that since February 2020, at least 25 parishes or ministry locations in northern Colorado are known to have been the target of vandalism, property destruction, or theft.

“It continues to be troubling to see the increased reports of vandalism at Catholic churches, both across the county and in our archdiocese, and it is certainly unfortunate when our parishes are targeted simply because of our beliefs,” Haas said in a statement to CNA.

“We continue to pray for the conversion of those who carry out acts of desecration against our churches, statues, and religious symbols.”

The cathedral had also sustained damage in mid-2020 amid racially charged protests in downtown Denver. The church building and rectory were spray painted with the slogans “Pedofiles” [sic], “God is dead,” “There is no God,” along with anti-police, anarchist, and anti-religion phrases and symbols.

In an Oct. 2 video, Cramer said, “I was raised Catholic, I was baptized … at Saint Frances Cabrini in Littleton, Colorado,” but that “the Catholic Church never felt right.”

She said she had recently visited the St. France Cabrini parish webpage “and saw that they are actively supporting anti-abortion throughout the country.”

Cramer charged that the Church “hate(s) women, you want to control women, you want to silence women.” She closed the video saying: “So stop just be honest you’re not filled with love for God, for the baby, for the woman. You’re filled with hate and you know it and we know it.”

Deacon Chet Ubowski at St. Frances Cabrini in Littleton confirmed to CNA that Cramer is the woman who approached the altar during Mass at the church Oct. 10, just hours after she had vandalized the cathedral. During her interaction with the celebrant, she claimed to be a satanist.

Deacon Ubowski also said that “none of the current staff know her … We asked the youth staff if they had any recollection of her and they did not.”

“But we all have her in our prayers,” he added.

Cramer was charged in 2020 with obstructing police and was sentenced to one year of probation and 48 hours of community service. Crime Stoppers in Denver are offering $2,000 for information on her whereabouts or the incident of vandalism.

Autumn Jones contributed to this report.

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