Collegiate Church Vandalized in Aveyron

Country: France

Date of incident: February 25, 2020

Category: Social Hostility / Intolerance

Attack against: Faith

Area of case: Private

On February 25th, an unknown person broke a door handle, attempted to force a display case, overturned statues, and broke the hands of the statue of Our Lady of Lourdes in the collegiate church of Notre-Dame de Villefranche-de-Rouergue in Aveyron.

The parish of Villefranchois announced the incident on its website:

"This disrespectful and hurtful act for the Catholics is added to the long list of violations suffered in France, every day, in Christian religious buildings: churches - chapels - cathedrals - abbeys - basilicas. The reasons for these crimes are mainly unclear, but they often seem targeted."

Father Florent Dixneuf, parish priest of the church Sainte-Émilie-en-Villefanchois said: "These acts that we deplore, wound us in our identity and our faith. They show a serious lack of respect for this place, where the Christian community meets to celebrate and pray. These acts are an attack on the figures of the saints whom we venerate. Our bishop joins me in saying to the Christian community of Villefranche, 'May our prayer turn to the Lord, imploring his mercy and asking him to make us servants of his Peace.'"

Source: La Paroisse du Villefranchois