The day after the attack on Father Grégoire, Monsignor Cattenoz has spoken out strongly and denounces "people of the Muslim faith taking control of the district". The facts are taking on a political/religious dimension...Source: Le Dauphine
On Monday at around 8 pm, Father Grégoire from the parish of Saint-Jean was attacked by an individual. Struck on the face, the priest was unconscious on the ground until two other members of the parish arrived. This Tuesday morning at around 11 am, Monsignor Cattenoz, Archbishop of Avignon, denounced growing insecurity in the district of Saint-Ruf (while the local authority official in charge of public safety claims instead that there has been a decrease in crime in this sector), as well as the proliferation of thefts and threats towards members of the parish.
The leader of the Catholics in Vaucluse went even further: "People of the Muslim faith have progressively taken control of this district"... before proposing to create a committee bringing together representatives of the main religions, in order to calm the situation.
The Avignonnese Mohammed Moussaoui, president of the French Council of the Muslim Religion, also wants to calm things down: "Before highlighting adherence to one or another religion, we need to see if the attack was accompanied by words or gestures associated with the religion. Giving it a religious dimension seems counter-productive to me."
Meanwhile, politicians have not been slow to react.
The mayor of Avignon Marie-Josée Roig (UMP) said he was "dismayed by this indescribable act", recalling that "our republican compact cannot tolerate such violent acts perpetrated by some who have an unbearable sense of impunity". the deputy mayor of Orange Jacques Bompard (Ligue du Sud) [League of the South] calls it an "act of racism (in the sense of the penal code) with regard to a Catholic priest, which is also the consequence of the hatred which a certain Islamism propagates with regards to everything that is French and Christian."