The iconic Cathedral Basilica of Saint Joseph in downtown San Jose was vandalized this weekend when anti-Semitic and Satanic messages were spray-painted on walls, raising concerns from people who live nearby.
“That’s absolutely uncalled for, and not the kind of spirit we want to have in our city,” said neighbor Todd Nelson.
Church staff discovered the messages early Sunday morning. They have since been painted over, but not before photos of the vandalism were taken.
City Councilmember Raul Peralez posted some of the photos on Facebook and wrote, “it’s sad to see repeated acts of hate throughout our community. My mother serves as a Eucharistic Minister at St. Joseph’s Cathedral and this morning she sent me these discouraging photos that the congregation was greeted with.”
Aldolfo Gomez, owner of a neighboring restaurant, says the graffiti usually shows up during long weekends because downtown is so empty.
“They’ve been doing parts of the church, they’ve done the back, they’ve done this wall, but I think it’s maybe the second time they’ve done the main building,” Gomez said. “Usually they respect the church, the way it should be.”
Gomez said that vandals have tagged the back wall of his restaurant that faces the church more than 20 times over the years. His solution is to have a mural painted there.
“We do a mural in the next three weeks here,” he said. “So it’s going to be a mural. There’s a code amongst muralists and graffiti guys. If you have a nice mural, they kind of respect it.”
Church staff members said they reported the incident to police and painted over the vandalism as quickly as possible.