Spate of attacks against Catholics in France & Belgium

June 7, 2016 by  
Filed under newsletter-world

France, June 07, 2016 : Numerous acts of violence and aggression have been carried out recently against Catholics in France and Belgium, including fires set in churches, an assault on a priest, the desecration of a tabernacle and the hacking of more than 100 websites.

In the French periodical La Provence, local priest Fr Benoît Delabre reported that two weeks ago, the altar at the Church of St Madeleine-de-l’Île was set fire in Martigues, about 800 kilometres south of Paris.

“The altar . . . is marble, which prevented the fire from spreading. I can’t imagine what would have happened with a wooden altar. The consequences for our church would have been tragic.”

He also said that on May 15, another unknown person desecrated the tabernacle which contained the consecrated hosts in the church at Jonquières in the same region.

Additionally, Fr Delabre himself was attacked on May 29 by a man he caught at the church door who appeared to be “trying to steal something.”

“We know just how serious these attacks are on signs and persons because of their faith . . . The Catholic faith, its symbols and those that profess it, deserve to be respected just like every kind of religious expression that does not disturb the public order,” he said.

Gaby Charroux, the mayor of Martigues, said in a statement that “thefts of every kind in churches in France are more and more frequent” and promised the police will curb the attacks.

The publication La Croix reported that in April, more than 100 websites of churches and congregations were hacked by suspected Tunisian cyber-jihadists who call themselves the Fallaga Team.

– cna

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