Monday, May 27, 2013

Anti-Marriage Equality Riots in France Enter Second Day, Reports of Priests in Cassocks Observing Violence But Not Intervening

Various news outlets are reporting that after nearly 300 people were arrested in Paris Sunday night following the latest march against marriage equality, a second day of riots erupted today. The UK Metro article to which I just linked says that two journalists have been seriously injured.

Peter Allen reports on the second day of riots for the UK Daily Mail. In the Independent, John Lichfield writes ominously that "priests in long cassocks" observed some of the violent activities of rioters without seeking to intervene.

Who are these priests, I wonder? Are they priests in good standing in French Catholic dioceses? Members of hard-right schismatic groups? People posturing as priests?

Whoever they are, the fact that priests (or people dressed as priests) would be in the thick of this melee seems to me to say something rather unsavory about French Catholicism as it's currently configured. As I said recently, start going on about blood running in the streets, as ├╝ber-Catholic protest leader Frigide Barjot has done, and as the outgoing leader of the French Catholic bishops' conference Cardinal Vingt-Trois also did in his own slightly less flamboyant way, and blood will flow.

As Wilfred de Bruijn said back in April when the violence began to gear up with attacks on gay folks in France, though it wasn't Frigide Barjot or the bishop of Avignon who bashed in his face, they and those working with them are responsible for eliciting anti-gay violence in France.

The picture the leaders of the Catholic church are painting at this point in history regarding Catholic "love" of LGBT human beings is not a pretty one in the least, is it? It's going to take a lot of work at some point down the road to dispel the belief of many people in many cultures that what the Catholic church intends for those who are gay is not redemptive, not salvific, not loving at all.

At Americablog Gay, John Aravosis says,

Also sad has been the Catholic and religious right reluctance to condemn the violence perpetrated by their fellow marchers and sympathizers.  The Catholic church and the religious right have brought anti-gay animus in France to an all-time high, resulting in numerous recent hate crimes against gays and gay organizations.

He's right. 

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