About thirty Catholics who were organizing an annual candlelight procession between the churches of Saint Joseph and Saint Marie de Fontenelle in Nanterre, France, were attacked by a group of youths who threatened them. Someone shouted, “In the Qur’an I will cut your throat.” They also shouted that they were “infidels”. The French Interior Minister talks about “things that are not allowed”. An investigation is underway.
The march, an annual tradition, had only begun when a group of young men began to harass the faithful. They were blamed for the infidels. When the participants in the torch relay failed to respond, threats soon followed.
“In the Qur’an I will cut your throat,” she said. This obviously sparked the confrontation, one participant told the police afterwards.
The participants, all of whom were elderly, were so shocked afterwards that they specifically reported the diocese. The Archdiocese of Nanterre said in a statement that two prayer stations were planned during this march. “During the first stop, the procession was attacked by several people who issued insults and threats of serious and violent nature. While the participants in the procession did nothing wrong or provoke.”
At one point, a believer’s torch was carried and thrown to the other participants, the diocese says.
“He strongly condemns the insults, threats and intimidation carried out during this procession,” Hauts-de-Seine Governor Laurent Houtieu said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the Bishop of Nanterre, Monsignor Rogy, contacted the public authorities to express his concern. He will also visit the concerned believers this week to discuss.
The French Interior Minister responded on Saturday evening. In turn, Gerald Dermanin condemned these intolerable acts and said that the police would do everything possible to track down and punish the perpetrators.