The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Castries has condemned Sunday’s Molotov Cocktail attack on the Our Lady of the Assumption church in Vieux Fort, where a man exploded two of the incendiary devices inside the building.
No one was injured and the fire was extinguished.
In condemning the incident, the Archdiocese observed on its Facebook page that it was the second time that Catholics of the Parish of the Assumption Vieux Fort had their constitutional right to worship violated and their sacred space of worship desecrated.
In 2020, the Pierrot Catholic church came under similar attack.
Eyewitnesses of Sunday’s attack identified the perpetrator whom the police later arrested as the same individual behind the Pierrot incident.
The Archdiocese said it is mindful of such assaults on the Catholic community in the past.
It recalled the murder of Francis Theresa Keenan SJC during Mother’s Day Mass in Grace, Vieux Fort on May 8, 1977, the kidnapping of Bishop Lester Guilly SJ in Castries in December 1980, and the ‘brutal murder’ of Catholic nun Theresa Egan during the December 31, 2000 Cathedral attack.
The Archdiocese noted that the December 2000 attack also resulted in the death of Catholic Priest Charles Gaillard in April 2001, while Victor Reyes and Mark Beaubrun sustained severe burns.
In addition, it cited the attempt on the life of then Archbishop of Castries Kelvin Felix in 2006.
“This catalogue of atrocities suggests a targetted pattern of aggression which is unacceptable in a democratic and Christian society,” the Archdiocese declared.
It called on government, civil society, religious groups, and men and women of goodwill to ‘stand resolutely’ and condemn all forms of bigotry, hatred, discrimination, and intolerance both in words and actions that manifest themselves in Saint Lucia.
The Archdiocese statement noted that some of the perpetrators of the attacks were allegedly of questionable mental health.
As a result, the Catholic Church took the opportunity during the May 9-15 Mental Health Week to support the call for greater awareness, education, and information on mental health and better care and facilities for the mentally challenged.