VF South MP Dr Anthony condemns church attack

Vieux Fort Sud Parliamentary Representative Dr. Kenny D. Anthony says he is deeply saddened and disturbed by an arsonist’s attempt to set fire to the interior of the Church of the Lady of the Assumption in Vieux Fort yesterday, during the celebration of Holy Mass on Mother’s Day, May 8.

According to eyewitnesses, the individual in question used improvised “Molotov cocktails” to carry out his act.

Dr Anthony, describing the incident as ‘sad’, said: ‘It must have been particularly distressing that this incident happened on a special Sunday, such as ‘Mother’s Day’. No attack on a church should be tolerated or accepted. Such behavior is not only sacrilege but an affront to the sanctity of all places of worship. Although I am relieved that no one was injured, it was a traumatic experience for those present, parishioners and other Catholics who would have remembered the harrowing events that took place at the minor basilica many years ago”.

Dr Anthony added: ‘I am aware of reports that the arsonist is the same individual who attempted to set fire to the Pierrot Catholic Church. Some have suggested that the individual is mentally ill. While our collective humanity must reach out to this individual if that is the case, we also have a duty to protect our society from these individuals and, indeed, these individuals from themselves. I can only hope that this experience will not be repeated anywhere on our island.”

On Monday, in the wake of the heinous arson attack, Minister for Ecclesiastical Affairs Joachim Henry strongly denounced attacks on people based on religious beliefs or practices.

Recalling the infamous cathedral bombing in 2000, the minister said people must learn to tolerate the beliefs of others.

“We look forward to a society where we are more tolerant when it comes to faith-based organizations, when it comes to people’s beliefs, when it comes to how people live their lives. We are different in many ways, but understand that we must accept our differences and learn to live together. But we strongly condemn what happened to the Catholic Church,” Henry told reporters.

Henry doesn’t believe this incident will deter the Catholic Church from keeping its doors open to everyone despite the attack.

Martha J. Finley