March 10-12, 2000
volume 11, no. 50
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NEWS & VIEWS     Acknowledgments
Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

Catholic Civil Rights League denounces Catholic Cathedral violence and vandalism and urges that stronger charges be laid by Montreal Police

    CCRL (March 10, 2000)- The National Post reports that Tuesday, a group of seven individuals vandalized, desecrated and burned crosses in front of Montreal's Mary Queen of the World Cathedral. It reports: "Father Jean-Pierre Couturier said the demonstrators had ‘profaned God’ and disturbed people who were worshipping by rushing into the cathedral on Tuesday afternoon, spray-painting slogans on an altar, turning over flowerpots, sticking sanitary napkins -- some soiled -- to pictures and walls and throwing condoms around the cathedral's sanctuary." In all it was the grossest desecration of a church in years.

    The Catholic Civil Rights League strongly denounces these acts of hateful violence.

    A police spokesman was reported to have said hate crime charges were not considered because "the elements were not there for charges of that kind." The Catholic Civil Rights League disagrees and strongly urges the Montreal police to reconsider laying hate crime charges against the responsible parties.

    These were not people "raising issues of public interest and expressing opinions in good faith". They were attempting to intimidate and harass a peaceful religious group into fearful submission. A press conference or peaceful demonstration would have been appropriate methods of expressing their bigoted opinions.

    Thomas Langan, president of the Catholic Civil Rights League called this "another in a disturbing trend of offenses to which Canadian Catholics have been exposed."

    "The police must take the actions of these individuals seriously," Langan said "These acts are those of terrorists, deliberately planned and executed on the people and property of Mary Queen of the World Cathedral, the seat of the Archdiocese of Montreal and those responsible should be charged to the full possible extent of the law. This was nothing less than a hate crime that meets the legal requirements for the extreme form of vilification. Catholics should be treated like anybody else. Similar desecration of a mosque or synagogue would be a national outrage and would be energetically opposed by the Catholic Civil Rights League. The perpetrators should also be charged with crimes of property damage, trespassing and be financially responsible for their acts of vandalism. A slap on the wrist only encourages such undemocratic behavior."

    Catholic Civil Rights League assists in creating conditions within which Catholic teachings can be better understood, cooperates with other organizations in defending civil rights in Canada, and opposes defamation and discrimination against Catholics on the basis of their beliefs. The Catholic Civil Rights League is a Canadian non-profit organization. It is entirely supported by the generosity of its members.


March 10-12, 2000
volume 11, no. 50

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