A California woman was indicted on federal charges for allegedly making voicemail threats to blow up a prestigious D.C. girls’ Catholic school after the school announced it would include news of graduates’ same-sex unions in its alumni magazine.
Sonia Tabizada has been charged with one count of obstructing religious exercise by threat and another count of transmitting bomb threats in interstate commerce.
According to court documents, Tabizada called Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School, a private all-girls school in Washington, D.C., and threatened to “blow up the school and call it a mission from God.”
Tabizada allegedly made the call back on May 15, two days after the school’s president emerita, Sister Mary Berchmans, wrote a carefully worded missive to students, parents and graduates announcing that the academy will publish announcements of same-sex unions in its alumni magazine.
The decision, which stands in contrast to official church teaching on same-sex marriage, provoked a mixture of responses by the school community.
“The Church is clear in its teaching on same-sex marriages,” Berchmans wrote. “But, it is equally clear in its teaching that we are all children of God, that we each have dignity and are worthy of respect and love.”
“Recently, a Visitation friend invited me to reflect upon what it means to Live Jesus in relationship with our LGBTQ alumnae,” Berchmans explained.
That conversation — as well as “much prayerful consideration and thoughtful dialogue” — led the school to its new policy, she wrote.
Tabizada allegedly called the academy, telling administrators to “remove the f–king gay motherf–kers from your magazine or I’m going to f–king kill your kids.”
“That’s a promise,” she added. Prosecutors allege she left another voicemail one minute later.
The call transcript also includes specific threats to Berchmans, with Tabizada allegedly saying that she was “straight from hell, and is going to hell — she’s seducing innocent eyes. She’s not helping the cause of Jesus. She’s accepting sinners — they have to be separate.”
Tabizada pleaded not guilty to the charges, according to NBC 4 Washington.