Whereas the world watched in horror at Paris’ historic Notre Dame Cathedral erupting in flames Monday, the hearth is barely the newest in a collection of incidents which have left social media awash in pictures of closely broken church buildings.
France has been hit with a string of fires at Catholic church buildings, a few of which occurred alongside desecration of sacred objects and acts of vandalism. Whereas the hearth at Notre Dame seems to be an accident related to renovations of the church, the picture of the well-known spire engulfed in flames is a tough hit on the traditionally deeply Catholic France, in addition to Catholics throughout who’ve seen their faith reeling from devastating scandals, cover-ups and assaults.
Whereas Notre Dame is undoubtedly probably the most well-known landmark to be affected, Paris’ second largest church, Saint-Sulpice, briefly burst into flames on March 17, the hearth damaging doorways and stained glass home windows on the constructing’s exterior. Police later reported that the incident had not been an accident.
“The photographs of flames in Saint Sulpice church this weekend are another instance of the violence dedicated in opposition to Catholics,” mentioned Philippe Gosselin and Annie Genevard of France’s Nationwide Meeting, tying the incident right into a wider pattern of assaults on Catholic locations of worship.
February noticed a collection of such assaults throughout France. In a single incident, a cross of human excrement was smeared on the wall of the Notre Dame des Enfants in Nimes, the vandals additionally looting the church and spreading consecrated wafers within the rubbish.
The identical month, the altar at Saint-Alain Cathedral in Lavaur was set on hearth, whereas statues and crosses have been smashed all through the premises. Two youngsters have been later arrested in relation to the incident.
In one other incident on February 4, a statue of the Virgin Mary was discovered smashed on the bottom at St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Houilles, Yvelines. Simply days later, the Eucharist was scattered and the altar fabric dirty at Church of Notre Dame de Dijon.
The assaults come at a time when the Church is hurting for sympathy, enwrapped in little one intercourse abuse scandals which have left even the pope declaring “all out battle” on felony clergy.
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