After the Carcassonne’s attack, an scalade of vandalism has targeted the Church of St. John in Avignon.
Wednesday, Church of St. John. Father Gabriel, the parish priest, speaks to the press, almost in desperation. For several months, his church has been the target of obscene and offensive tags, excrement-throwing … And last week, the cypresses adjacent to the religious building were set on fire, threatening to spread the flames to church. For this priest, “these acts have a direct link with what is happening in Iraq where Christians were attacked.” At the outset, Father Gabriel talks about inter-community tensions and denounced a “climate of increasingly aggressive and violent maintained by a small group of young people 12/13 years up to 16 years.” At first, Father Gabriel was believed to “incivility” of unemployed youth in the neighborhood. Nonsense of teenagers in need of provocation.Then a few days before the fire of cypress, a youth entered the church during mass, urinating on the porch with while shouting this terrible sentence, “We’ll toast you all, you and your church.” The parish priest complained to the police on Nov. 9.
How the set of facts as serious attacks against places of worship, could pass so unnoticed by authorities? At the town hall, the chief of staff pleads “shocked and stunned.” “We learned the facts by the press this morning himself“, the mayor’s office acknowledges. Stunned by the facts themselves, but also by the lack of relay and the lack of feedback from the neighborhood to the town hall … “We have traced all the letters received by City Hall in recent months, nothing on the Church of St. John. ”
Another reason for astonishment, that the archdiocese did not call directly to the mayor to report these acts classified as “intolerable“.
Acts which, for some residents of Saint John, would be the face of the iceberg deploring a “religious proselytizing.” Inter-community tension must be taken into account by the archdiocese and the representative of Muslim worship. Locally, we learned tonight that Father Gabriel will have an 8 am town hall on Monday 30, his schedule did not allow him to go before. “We’ll set up a working group composed of national police and municipal technical services but also of the city to respond as quickly as possible in this situation,” concluded the chief of staff.
Having failed to reach the Archbishop’s palace tonight, we will, hopefully, learn his position tomorrow.
Dhimmi/Catholic/non-Muslimphobia in action.