Acting Primate, Archbishop Samuel P Prakash:
In the NY Times:
The Islamic State claimed responsibility on Saturday for the catastrophic attacks in the French capital, calling them “the first of the storm” and mocking France as a “capital of prostitution and obscenity,” according to statements released in multiple languages on one of the terror group’s encrypted messaging accounts.
The remarks came in a communiqué published in Arabic, English and French on the Islamic State’s Telegram account and then distributed via their supporters on Twitter, according to a transcript provided by the SITE Intelligence Group, which tracks jihadist propaganda…
Please would you take a moment to remember and pray for those who have been caught up in the horrific coordinated terror attacks in #Paris last night.
With over 150 dead and scores more injured, this is the deadliest violence in Paris since World War II.
Now while I have my own opinions as to what is going on not only in France, but Europe on the whole, and why, let me just say that things are going to get worse before they get better. Secularism will be their complete undoing. So while the French borders have now been closed, ISIS is long inside the gates. And Western Civilisation is left teetering.
St Joan of Arc, pray for us!
Read also, if you will, The Paris Attacks: The Consequence of Goodness Without Truth.
Rhône-Alpes has this photo and a report in French:
Two churches in Thonon-les-Bains, a city of 30,000 in eastern France, were desecrated on August 5, according to Le Messager, a newspaper based in Chablais.
A man in his thirties entered St. Hippolytus Church and the Basilica of St. Francis de Sales and destroyed or damaged altars, stained glass, statues, candelabras, and a bronze cross. He also tore open a tabernacle and trampled on the Eucharist.
The man suspected in the desecration is a “young Muslim,” a local priest said.
Now why is that not surprising…
Theology and Society reports:
A Paris museum — subsidized by the French government — opened an exhibition of photos of Palestinian suicide bombers, that the museum calls “freedom fighters,” the France 24 website reports today (June 12, 2013).
The exhibition of 68 photos — entitled “Death” by Ahlam Shibli — opened on May 28 at the Jeu de Paume Museum of Contemporary Art in Paris.
The museum’s website describes suicide bombers as “those who lost their lives fighting against the (Israeli) occupation,” and the exhibition as being about “the efforts of Palestinian society to preserve their presence.”
According to CRIF (Representative Council of the Jewish Institutions in France) — the umbrella body of French Jewish communities — the people commemorated in the photos are “mostly from the [Fatah-affiliated] al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades [of Hamas], and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.” All three are designated by the European Union as terrorist groups.
France… another soon to be Islamic state… What else should we expect?
Some 1,500 visitors were cleared out of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris after a man put a letter on the altar of the 850-year-old monument Tuesday, pulled out a gun and shot himself in the head.
It’s the first suicide in decades at the landmark site, Monsignor Patrick Jacquin, the cathedral’s rector, told The Associated Press.
“It’s unfortunate, it’s dramatic, it’s shocking,” Jacquin said. The motives for the suicide, and the contents of the man’s letter, were unclear.
The Paris prosecutor’s office identified the man as 78-year-old Dominique Venner.
Venner’s blog describes him as a historian and essayist, and includes description of his involvement in the campaign against France’s new law authorizing gay marriage. In some posts he criticizes “massive immigration” and what he describes as encroaching Islam; others include historical analysis of revolution or American-European relations.
It says he fought with French forces against Algerian independence fighters a half-century ago in a war that ended with France losing its most prized colony.
Police ushered people out of the cathedral after the shooting, Interior Minister Manuel Valls told reporters from the grand stone plaza in front of Notre Dame. “We call for compassion,” he said.
“Notre Dame is the cathedral of Paris, one of the capital’s – and the country’s – most beautiful monuments, so we realize how symbolic this event truly is.”
It’s highly unusual for the cathedral, visited by some 13 million people from around the world every year, to be evacuated.
Police, the Paris prosecutor and church employees gathered inside the cathedral, while puzzled tourists crowded outside on the island in the Seine River that has been home to the cathedral since the 12th century.
The cathedral reopened for an evening service that church officials said would include a prayer for the man who committed suicide and other struggling souls.
Tuesday’s death comes less than a week after another unusual suicide in central Paris, when a man shot himself in front of a dozen schoolchildren at a private Catholic school in the French capital.
Jacquin said a few people had committed suicide by jumping from Notre Dame’s two towers, but he had no knowledge of anyone ever committing suicide on the altar. The Eiffel Tower occasionally shuts down because of suicides or attempts to jump off its ledges.
A topless activist of the FEMEN movement was arrested inside Notre Dame Cathedral Wednesday, one day after far-right essayist and historian Dominique Vesser committed suicide in the Paris landmark.
The bare-chested woman was photographed in front of the altar, pointing a fake gun at her mouth. The slogan “May Fascists Rest In Hell” was written across her torso.
FEMEN leader Inna Schevchenko commented to Le HuffPost that the protest was a message to “anyone who supports fascism and who honored the memory of the extreme-right militant who committed suicide at Notre Dame.”
On Tuesday, 78-year-old far-right activist Dominique Venner took his own life in front of the altar inside the Cathedral. According to the Associated Press, Venner ran a blog that included pieces criticizing immigration and gay marriage.
On its Facebook page, FEMEN France called the topless activist “FEMEN’s angel of Death”…
The Cathedral is desecrated.
A church in the central French town of Vierzon may be converted to a mosque, as Muslims across Europe are converting empty churches to fit their faith – but some locals are worried about the threat of radicalism
Vierzon has six churches, and in order to balance the books, the diocese is selling one of them off. A Moroccan organization is in talks to convert the church of St. Eloi into a mosque, although a final decision has yet to be reached.
With a nave of 26 meters, it can accommodate 200 people and is up for sale for €170,000.
Alain Krauth, the pastor of Notre Dame de Vierzon, explained to weekly newsmagazine Le Nouvel Observateur, “We must keep the buildings; Vierzon has experienced a population decline in recent years, the Christian community is not as important as it used o be in the past.”
“The church is modern and easy to re-arrange – it will be easy to sell,” he added.
Father Krauth explained that questionnaires have been distributed to the community about the proposed sale. “Some of the faithful rejoice that the place will be bought by members of the Muslim community – by believers in moderate Islam – but others were offended and fear radical Islam,” the priest reflected.
With about six per cent of EU citizens today identifying as Muslim, and that number set to grow, more and more churches are set to become mosques.
Nearly 150 new mosques are currently under construction to house France’s nearly five million Muslims, who make up about 7.5 per cent of the country’s population. France is home to the EU’s largest national Muslim community.
Attempts by European governments to unite the diverse cultures and religious groups living side by side in the continent’s cities have not always been successful, with tensions remaining between the Muslim and Christian populations in many countries.