Suffering and attacks on the Church’s “Eldest Daughter”

What beautiful Faith there was once in France.  So lovely was it, so early in our history was the Faith embraced, that France was called the Church’s Eldest Daughter.

However, for decades now Europe – no, let’s say centuries, since the Cartesian revolution and the Enlightenment – and France in Europe, has been on a suicide mission.  European identity is all but destroyed.  Moreover, the practitioners of the Religion of Peace have been systematically invading Europe and eating her alive from within.  Joseph Ratzinger wrote eloquently about the dissolving identity of Europe.

Today I read at the Catholic Herald of seemingly systematic attack on French Catholic churches.

You might pay attention to this.  You see, people tend to think that these sorts of things, and natural and man-made disasters, won’t happen to them.  It’s always someone else, right?  Until it’s our turn.

From the CH:

At least 10 incidents of vandalism and desecration of Catholic churches have been reported in France since the beginning of February, according to French news sources and watch groups.

Vandals in Catholic churches throughout the country have smashed statues, knocked down tabernacles, scattered or destroyed the Eucharist, burnt altar cloths and torn down crosses, among other acts of desecration of religious items.

According to La Croix International, one of the earliest incidents occurred February 4 at St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Houilles, Yvelines, where a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary was found smashed on the ground. The church had experienced earlier incidents of vandalism just weeks prior, when the altar cross was found thrown to the ground and the celebrant’s chair was damaged.

The Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians in Europe, a Christian watchdog group, documented another attack at St. Nicholas Church on February 10, when the tabernacle was found thrown to the ground. A 35 year-old man later confessed to committing the act to police.

On February 5, an altar cloth was found burnt and crosses and statues torn down or disfigured at Saint-Alain Cathedral in Lavaur, in south-central France. The fire was found early by a parish secretary and did not spread, though the smoke damaged the altar and adjacent walls.

The 800 year-old building had also recently undergone renovations, local sources reported.

“I strongly condemn the vandalism of Lavaur Cathedral and I share the outrage aroused by this intolerable act,” Jean Terlier, a local district deputy, said in a statement following the incident, according to La Croix.

“God will forgive. Not me,” the city’s mayor Bernard Carayon said of the vandalism, La Croix reported.

On February 6, just a day after the Saint-Alain Cathedral incident, vandals at a Catholic Church in Nimes broke into the tabernacle and scattered the hosts on the ground, drew a cross on the wall with excrement and damaged other religious items in the church, according to local reports.

In a statement posted to the Diocesan website, Bishop Robert Wattebled of Nimes denounced the desecration, which “greatly affects our diocesan community. The sign of the cross and the Blessed Sacrament have been the subject of serious injurious actions. This act of profanation hurts us all in our deepest convictions,” he said.

The Bishop also announced that a Mass of reparation must be said in the church before regular Masses can continue, and noted that local religious orders of the diocese had already offered to observe days of fasting and prayer in reparation for the act. He encouraged lay Catholics to join in acts of prayer and reparation.

The Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians in Europe documented another incident on February 9 at the Church of Notre-Dame de Dijon in Côte-d’Or, about 175 miles to the south and east of Paris.

Again in this incident, the tabernacle was opened and the Eucharist scattered. An altar cloth was also stained and a missle book was torn.

Father Emmanuel Pic from Notre-Dame parish told La Bien Public news that since nothing of great monetary value was damaged, it seems the vandals wanted to attack the “heart of the Catholic faith.

Nothing of value has been broken, but it is the intent that is very shocking. This is what characterizes profanation,” Pic said.

The vandals seemed to have known that attacking the altar and the Eucharist would be “a very strong symbol for (parishioners), since the hosts consecrated during the previous Mass are no longer just a piece of bread in the eyes of Christians” but the body of Christ, he added. The priest also posted photos of the desecration to his Twitter account. Mass resumed at the parish after a Mass of reparation was said by the local archbishop.

In a statement posted to the group’s newsletter, Ellen Fantini, executive director of the Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians in Europe, joined local priests, bishops and civil authorities in condemning the “shocking” acts of vandalism.

“It is our sincere hope that the perpetrators are brought to justice and that awareness of increasing anti-Christian hostility in France reaches the public square,” she said.

In a statement posted to Twitter on February 13, Prime Minister of France Edouard Philippe also condemned the acts ahead of a meeting with the country’s bishops.

In one week, in France, 5 degraded churches. In our secular Republic, places of worship are respected. Such acts shock me and must be unanimously condemned. I will tell the bishops of France at the meeting of the forum of dialogue with the Catholic Church,” he said.

Besides the confession in the incident at St. Nicholas Church, investigations are ongoing as to the perpetrators of these acts of vandalism.

While it is yet unclear if the incidents are at all related, they recall the series of attacks and vandalism that the Catholic Church in France and Belgium experienced in 2016 by the Islamic State. The worst of those attacks included the murder of Fr. Jacques Hamel, who was killed by jihadists while celebrating Mass at a church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray in Normandy. The assailants entered the church and took the priest and four others hostage. Local law enforcement reported that the priest’s throat was slit in the attack, and that both of the hostage takers were shot dead by police.

Some sharing options...

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Semper Paratus, Si vis pacem para bellum!, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices, The Last Acceptable Prejudice, The Religion of Peace and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Suffering and attacks on the Church’s “Eldest Daughter”

  1. Greg Hlatky says:

    So, how’s that “assimilation” stuff working out?

  2. Kathleen10 says:

    Something evil this way comes. It is bad when nations or cultures have to fight an outsider for existence, but has any prior era seen one side throw open the gates and allow a proven enemy to come in and take over. Why has Europe done this. In the name of political correctness? This is just the beginning.

  3. Kathleen10 says:

    And America will do the same, if the Democrat party ever takes control again.

  4. Diana says:

    Marie-Julie Jahenny speaks of a chastisement that will fall first on France. That’s what I thought of when I saw this.
    I’m not sure if her writings and prophecies are approved, though. Does anyone know?

  5. Semper Gumby says:

    The Church’s Eldest Daughter is having a rough time lately. At Gatestone Institute, about every month or so, Giulio Meotti or Dr. Guy Milliere of the University of Paris publish an article about the situation in France. To their credit they mention the occasional good news such as certain Salafi mosques being closed and some deportations. However, Islamism is only part of France’s problem. According to Meotti, France as a civilized country is “decomposing.”

    Meanwhile, Macron shows little comprehension of what is motivating the Yellow Vest protestors. Furthermore, last November, just before the Centennial Celebration of the end of WW I, Macron called for a European Army to defend the EU against Russia, China, and the United States.

    Several paragraphs from a Milliere article last month:

    On December 20 [2018], two days before the fifth demonstration of the “yellow vests,” police officers organized a protest in front of the Élysée Palace. The vice-president of an organization made up of police officers said that many members are exhausted, feel sympathetic to the revolt and are ready to join it.

    The next day, the government increased police officers’ salaries and paid them millions for overtime — payments that had been overdue for months.

    “The authorities are really afraid that the police could turn on them,” commented the journalist Jean-Michel Aphatie. “It is hard to imagine. It is where we are in France, today”.

  6. HvonBlumenthal says:

    Similar thinga are happening in Spain too. Civil War era slogans such as “the Church only illuminates when it’s burning” get daubed on churches, petty acts of spiteful vandalism, occasional sacreligious invasions of the Mass etc.

  7. JesusFreak84 says:

    “The Bishop also announced that a Mass of reparation must be said in the church before regular Masses can continue, and noted that local religious orders of the diocese had already offered to observe days of fasting and prayer in reparation for the act. He encouraged lay Catholics to join in acts of prayer and reparation.” <– Reactions like this ARE reasons for hope, though. There's at least one shepherd in France with sound instincts.

    Has anyone claimed responsibility for these horrible acts? I know ISIS has done (or at least claimed) incidents in the past, but I could see militant secularists acting in the same manner…

  8. Semper Gumby says:

    JesusFreak84: Militant secularists (and the occasional occultist) have previously been involved in church attacks. So have other Islamist groups besides ISIS. Well done with your highlighting of a “shepherd in France with sound instincts.”

  9. JARay says:

    Long before Islamists appeared in France there were signs of hatred towards the Church. It is over 50 years since I saw a gutted chicken and its blood smeared across the entrance of a Catholic Church in France. I was disgusted then and I am still disgusted by these latest outbursts.

  10. Gab says:

    Aeterne rerum omnium …

    O God, who bringest all things into existence, remember that the souls of unbelievers have been called into existence by Thee, and that they have been made after Thy own image and likeness. Behold, O Lord, to the dishonour of Thee, with these very souls hell is filled. Remember, O God, that for their salvation Thy Son Jesus Christ underwent the most cruel death. Let it not then, I entreat Thee, Lord, be any longer permitted by Thee that Thy Son should be despised by the unbelievers; but, appeased by the prayers of holy men and of the Church, the Spouse of Thy most holy Son, do Thou remember Thy own pity, and, forgetting their idolatry and their unbelief, bring it to pass that they too may some time acknowledge Thy Son Jesus Christ, who is our salvation, life, and resurrection, through whom we are saved and set free; to whom be glory from age to age without end. Amen.

  11. Luminis says:

    St Therese of Lisieux pray for us!

  12. excalibur says:

    There is no compromise with Mohammedanism, which practitioners of that political system prefer we call ‘Islam’. Islam means submission. Those who refuse to learn from history condemn us to relive it.

    Our Lady of Fatima pray for us.

    JMJ

  13. monstrance says:

    Excellent security systems with cameras and video have become quite reasonably priced.
    Have it linked to local law enforcement for immediate response.
    No excuses…

  14. Spinmamma says:

    Although the desecration of the Eucharist, and the horrible murder of the elderly priest is by far more serious, the potential loss of France’s magnificent Gothic cathedrals is sickening to contemplate. To me, they, of the many beautiful structures and art of Christian Europe, evoke heaven in an inimitable way. Their beautiful soaring walls , their ceilings and floors, decorative statues and stonework, and stained glass painstakingly made over decades and even centuries from the labor of local artisans and workmen, contributions by all of the Faithful according to their means, and the dedication of political leaders, architects and mathematicians are in a way symbolic of the Kingdom. Not to mention the relics they house. Uggghh! I imagine it is only a matter of time before some Jihadist decides to blow them up–as so many of the Coptic churches in Egypt have been. Holy Mary, Mother of God pray for us.

  15. Kennedy says:

    I was in France last year for about 10 days. I was very impressed with the devotion of the people in the churches I visited. Even in the ones that were tourist hubs, there were always people praying in the nave and at side altars. The devotion and the intensity of the prayers at the Masses I attended left me with a great feeling of hope for the Church in France, contrary to what I had expected, given the rest of the news.

  16. KAS says:

    In the United States I saw a map showing the second most common religion in every state. Nearly all our Northern states and several others listed Islam as the second most common religion. Considering the FACT that Muslims outbreed Christians and Muslims almost never convert due to Islam’s approval of killing anyone who does if the opportunity presents itself; well, those states may very well soon be predominantly Muslim. A few Christians are brave enough to try and spread the Gospel among Muslims but that is likely to start getting them killed as the numbers rise.

    We are heading into the same problem, as is Canada, unless people return to God and even then there may be civil wars and I suspect in numbers, there are more enemies than there are Christians and the Christians are scattered.

  17. Johann says:

    The religion of peace, and it’s adherents who have “migrated” into France (i.e invaded) are responsible for this anti-Christian violence.

    How many Churches have to be desecrates, brave priests like Father Jacques Hamel murdered, hoe many terrorist acts have to be committed, before the Vatican drops it’s short sighted support for this invasion of fake refugees?

  18. JustaSinner says:

    Well, if these Churches are open 24/7, WHY NO ORGANIZED CHURCH-SITTERS? Just one, with pointed stick, would run off/through the perpetrators. We used to have all-night Adoration at my parish. I went in the ‘dark hours’—0200 thru 0500, when people seem to be up to mischeif. Was I armed? I plead the 2nd…

  19. Semper Gumby says:

    Kennedy: Outstanding. God willing and the creek don’t rise, church attendance and sacred worship will increase.

    Spinmamma: Well said. Deo Volente, for many more centuries to come the spires of Chartres will soar above fields of wheat and barley, a beacon for pilgrims, a glimpse of heaven on the horizon.

  20. Malta says:

    Whoever says that the deadening of the Faith in France doesn’t have a relation to the effects of Vatican II suffers from an Alice in Wonderland cognitive dissonance: https://www.ibtimes.com/church-decline-frances-vanishing-catholics-1125241

    You don’t go from 75% mass attendance before the Council down to 3% after the Council without seeing a correlation. https://www.ibtimes.com/church-decline-frances-vanishing-catholics-1125241

    Oh, I’m sorry, Vatican II was a “New Springtime.”

  21. jaykay says:

    Spinmamma: very true what you say, we could be faced with potential loss of these glorious structures in our current circs. Yet… it’s not the first time. Rheims, the most glorious, was pretty much gutted during WW1, a conflict between “Christian” countries. Don’t even mention Louvain. And Notre Dame de Paris itself narrowly survived demolition during the satanic “Revolution”. Not to mention the earlier total gutting of churches and cathedrals during the “reformation” – altars, images, glass, roodscreens – all smashed and walls with glorious murals whitewashed etc etc.

    We have been there before, and of course since 1965 we’ve been doing it to ourselves anyway. Now we have a potential enemy within, whose name, it seems, can’t be mentioned in polite company. But, hey, the lotus tastes good.

    Still, the traditional spirit in France burns strong, if small – relatively speaking in the overall secularistic culture. The Chartres Pilgrimage is an example, 10,000 on average, and average age about 20. Many large families, much strong faith. The future.

  22. SKAY says:

    Has Pope Francis commented on this?

  23. bigtex says:

    I am a few days late to this topic, so nobody will probably read this which is a shame. But, you cannot understand Church history and what is happening to us and why, until you understand the Jewish Question. It’s really as simple as that. The Church no longer preaches the Gospel, or follows its own teaching (Sicut Judeas Non) when it comes to the Jews, and Christian Western civilization is paying a steep price for it. Just read what was written in the 1890 version of La Civilta Cattolica (the official voice of the Vatican at the time) to how the Church acts today:

    http://www.catholicapologetics.info/apologetics/judaism/jewrope.htm

  24. Semper Gumby says:

    bigtex: The wording of your comment is unclear.

    However, La Civilta Cattolica is a problem now- see several posts here from July 2017- and given your link to that article it was a problem back in 1890. Western civilization has roots in Jerusalem, Athens, and Rome. As Jesus Christ said, “Salvation is from the Jews.”

  25. Austin Steele says:

    It’s true that these problems seem so distant until they happen close by. Someone vandalized a statue in my parish just this week. No apparent affiliation with Islam, but awful nonetheless.

  26. bigtex says:

    Semper Gumby,
    Yes, La Civilta Cattolica is a problem now, since the Jesuits have been taken over by the homosexual mafia.. But back in 1890, they were considered the voice of the Church, often requiring papal approval before publishing their articles. Western civilization has its roots in the Logos – Jesus Christ – the moral, social and economic order of the universe. The Greeks actually came close to understanding this. The Jews reject the Logos, which has made them revolutionaries for the last 2000 years. If “salvation is of the Jews” in the sense you are interpreting Christ’s words, then why aren’t you Jewish?? No, the Catholic Church is the new Israel and all must convert to be saved. The dual covenant theory is hogwash, originating from some unclear comment made by JPII back in 1980. I know most Catholics would be shocked by that article written in 1890, that’s because we’ve all been brainwashed since Nostra Aetate.

  27. Semper Gumby says:

    bigtex wrote:

    “Yes, La Civilta Cattolica is a problem now, since the Jesuits have been taken over by the homosexual mafia.. But back in 1890, they were considered the voice of the Church, often requiring papal approval before publishing their articles.”

    Three quotes from your 1890 article:

    1. Although sheltered within the whole, the Jews still form a social union. They view their hosts as enemies, and they greedily prey upon them, even as they sit at their tables.

    2. And how can we speak of Rome, which more than by an Italian sword, is caught in the noose of the great Jewish snare, which binds it by every sort of petty and grand theft…

    3. Thus the Jews fatten themselves on everything, and satiate themselves on the blood of the people…

    One wonders if enthusiastic readers of that 1890 article commute to work in Egyptian chariots, Panzer VI or Iosef Stalin tanks, or in cars plastered with Democrat Party and BDS bumper stickers.

    “Western civilization has its roots in the Logos – Jesus Christ – the moral, social and economic order of the universe. The Greeks actually came close to understanding this.”

    Jesus Christ founded a Church, not a civilization. You might be confusing “oikonomia” and “civilization.”

    “The Jews reject the Logos, which has made them revolutionaries for the last 2000 years.”

    What’s your point, the Founding Fathers were revolutionaries.

    “If “salvation is of the Jews” in the sense you are interpreting Christ’s words, then why aren’t you Jewish??”

    You were provided a quote, not an interpretation, of Jesus Christ: “Salvation is from the Jews.”

    “No, the Catholic Church is the new Israel and all must convert to be saved. The dual covenant theory is hogwash, originating from some unclear comment made by JPII back in 1980. I know most Catholics would be shocked by that article written in 1890, that’s because we’ve all been brainwashed since Nostra Aetate.”

    Explain how circulating anti-Semitic propaganda assists with making “disciples of all nations” and the salvation of souls.