Oregon priest urges prayer for vandal who defaced church with pro-abortion graffiti

Unsplash/Kelly Sikkema
Unsplash/Kelly Sikkema

The priest of the oldest Roman Catholic church in Portland, Oregon, recently urged his congregation to pray for the vandal who recently defaced the church with vulgar pro-abortion graffiti.

Father Timothy Furlow, who pastors St. Patrick's Church in Portland, exhorted his church on Sunday to remember that forgiving the vandal exhibits the "core message" of the Gospel, according to Catholic News Agency.

A vandal defaced the church by spray-painting "[expletive] you, my body my choice," on it in an apparent attempt to promulgate a pro-abortion message.

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Furlow said he declined to cover up the graffiti, which his congregation needed to see.

"I wanted you to see it," Furlow said during his homily. "Somebody said, 'Oh, we got to cover this up.' And then I'm like, 'Nope. I want them to see that.'"

"And the reason is because it fits kind of perfectly with what the core message of the Gospel is," he also said. "The core message here is pretty simple: We can't do anything good apart from God. Not a thing. We can't pull a good thing off. It's just absolutely impossible."

Acknowledging that he hopes he can see the vandal "get his comeuppance," the priest expressed a desire that the Lord would use the incident to work in both his own heart and the heart of the perpetrator.

"But the other part of me, the part of my heart that the Holy Spirit is working in — that I let him work in — thinks what I really want is for him to be an usher," he said.

"I want him to come to my door and say, 'I have no idea what's going on. I have never experienced anything like this in my life. But somehow in the core of my being, I know that God is real and Jesus is God,'" he added.

"Christianity and Catholicism [is] utterly unlike anything else on the earth because it runs directly contrary to the logic of the world, the flesh, and the devil," he also said.

Furlow requested his church to "sincerely pray for that guy and every single person like him in Portland, Oregon, that's hurting with a broken heart and is turning to the darkness to try to fix it rather than the Lord who is healing himself."

"Pray that he'd actually be able to receive that grace and that one day he would be welcoming you at the door to mass," he said. "That's being a Christian. That's truly living our supernatural Catholic faith."

Andy Ngo, a senior editor at The Post Millennial, shared a post on X earlier this month with pictures of the vandalism at St. Patrick's Church.

"Those attending mass this morning at St. Patrick's Church in northwest Portland, Ore. arrived to find it had been vandalized again with a pro-abortion message," Ngo wrote.

Ngo shared images documenting graffiti on the doors of the church reading, "F— U" and "My body my choice." A nearly identical message was spray-painted on the ground at the exterior of the church, although the word "you" was expunged.

Noting that "the door is still stain-bleached of a removed hateful message," Ngo added, "Multiple Christian houses of worship have been attacked in Portland since 2020 by far-left extremists but the left-wing leadership [district attorney] and law enforcement do not treat them as bias crimes."

Attacks against pro-life ministries and organizations in Portland have become commonplace in recent years, and vandalism against them has accelerated nationwide following the U.S. Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022.

spreadsheet compiled by the advocacy group CatholicVote that tracks acts of vandalism against Catholic churches in the U.S. lists multiple attacks on Portland churches since 2020.

St. Mary’s Cathedral was attacked in February 2021, as was All Saints Catholic Church in June 2022, the Archdiocese of Portland Office in July 2022, Holy Family Catholic Church in November 2023 and the Grotto Monastery in February 2024, according to the report.

Jon Brown is a reporter for The Christian Post. Send news tips to

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