France: Paris Churches Suffer Arson Attempts

The Paris Judicial Police has opened an investigation into three attempted arsons that occurred in some churches in the French capital.

Newsroom (03/01/ 2023, 8:35 PM, Gaudium Press) The Paris Judicial Police is investigating the person responsible for attempted arson in three churches in the French capital.

The investigation was opened for “voluntary degradation utilizing incendiary devices because of religion,” following two attempted arson attacks on churches in the Paris region.

According to reports from the periodical Le Parisien, two churches were attacked by a pyromaniac. The first of the targets was the church of Our Lady of Fatima which suffered two arson attempts, one on January 17 and another on January 22.

According to witnesses, the church door was sprayed with gasoline and the fire was started with the help of some newspaper. Fortunately, the beginning of the fire was controlled and the flames did not invade the building.

A third fire attempt happened against the São Martinho dos Campos church on January 18. The fire was ignited thanks to a kind of Molotov cocktail made of wood, thrown against the main door. The damage was greater in this case.

The parish priest explained that the fire was quickly brought under control and that a major disaster was avoided thanks to the quick action of two students who were staying in the church and woke up to the smoke. They called the firemen, who quickly brought the flames under control.

The priest, Father Stéphane-Paul Bentz, explained that the security cameras caught a man armed with fuel at about 5 a.m. Father Stéphane filed a complaint with the police forces. The police investigation was opened on January 23.

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However, last Wednesday, January 25, a third arson attempt was registered. The target was the São Lourenço church, in the same neighborhood as the São Martinho dos Campos church. The church door was damaged, but the flames did not invade the inside of the temple.

The city’s mayor, Anne Hidalgo, condemned the acts of vandalism and said that “Paris offers support to parishioners and stands by the diocese of Paris.” (FM)

Compiled by Dominic Joseph

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