France really needs our prayers!
Two French churches recently experienced brutal attacks.
France’s Oloron Cathedral, also known as St. Mary’s Church, was rammed into with a car and robbed around 2 am Monday, resulting in approximately 60,000 euros (about $66,000) of damage. This is the first-ever attack on the cathedral since its building in the 12th century.
The masked perpetrators allegedly broke down the cathedral’s doors with a Peugeot 106 and a tree trunk strapped to the car’s hood, stealing multiple objects dating back to the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries.
Some of the robbed items include a gold monstrance, crown, chalice, nativity scene, and priestly vestments. Stolen priestly vestments include 16th-century gifts from King Francis I.
The photos below depict damages and some of the stolen items:
Bayonne and Oloron Bishop Marc Aillet called the offense a “sacrilegious robbery since they are objects of worship, some of which are still used today in certain great circumstances.”
The Oloron cathedral theft is just one attack on a Catholic Church in France this week.
Another attack recently occurred in France’s chapel of the Hermitage Saint-Florent in Oberhaslach. Unknown suspects beheaded a St. Bernadette statue. Parish priest Fr. Marc D’Hooge said a parishioner discovered the decapitated statue on Sunday afternoon.
He explained that the perpetrator may have tried using the statue “to break the door of the sacristy.”