~from Winnipeg Free Press
AN Osborne Village church has been desecrated with pro-choice abortion graffiti, but the pastor says the vandalism is just a cry for attention and will not lead the church to remove a controversial statue outside.
The graffiti -- a spray-painted message outside the church reading "My Body, My Choice" -- has been on the south side of Holy Rosary Church at 510 River Ave. since at least earlier this week.
It's located behind a stone statue outside the Catholic church dedicated to the lives of unborn fetuses, which was installed in 1998, according to a metal plate affixed to the statue.
"To me, it's a constant reminder of the struggle that's going on... this has been happening for the longest time," said Father Sam Argenziano, the church's pastor.
Argenziano said there was no immediate plan to chemically remove the black spray paint until spring, and he preferred those with dissenting views contact the church to discuss their concerns rather than resorting to vandalism.
"When people see it, if they're pro-abortion, then they think it's a little victory for them. If they're anti-abortion, it reminds us of the struggle we have going on in society for those of us who don't believe in abortion," said Argenziano.
"We know where we stand, we know where they stand."
Friday, the graffiti on the south side of the building facing Norquay Street remained.
Underneath the three-metre scrawl on the church building was a small, spray-painted fetus.
"I think it's a disgrace," said David Brown, 37, a neighbour of the church, who lives on Norquay Street. Brown said he believes abortion should be available in certain circumstances, but said he found the vandalism on the church disturbing.
"They could put up a poster if they disagreed that strongly," he said. "Totally destroying someone's place of worship is wrong."
It's not the first time a Winnipeg building has been hit with pro-choice vandalism.
Broadway's Crisis Pregnancy Centre, a Christian pregnancy counselling centre that does not provide references for abortion to pregnant women, has also been spray-painted at least five times in the last year.