Thursday 27 June 2013

Liberté, Fraternité, Egalité? Non! Police brutality, false arrest,and persecution as the French state makes a mockery of democracy...

... if you're a supporter of traditional Marriage, that is. Although initially it was primarily the traditionalist Catholic demonstrators who were targeted by police for rough handling, since the passing of the Loi Taubira all demonstrators - the elderly and children as well as the young - have been subjected to brutal, unjust and illegal attention from the police. As the video (with English subtitles) below shows, unruly behaviour verging on riots after a PSG (Paris Saint Germain) football match was virtually ignored, whilst peaceful sit-down pro-family protesters have been beaten, kettled and arrested.


Nicolas Bernard-Buss, 23, a student in Paris was arrested 16th June on the Champs Elysées after a demonstration. Vatican Insider reports:
"Nicolas Bernard Busse, 23, was put on trial immediately, sentenced to four months in prison and given a €1000 fine for rebellion and resisting arrest, French newspapers report. The student had taken part in a recent demonstration against same-sex marriage outside the studios of the M6 TV station, where President François Hollande was appearing in a broadcast. He then went to the Champs-Élysées in central Paris with some friends. All of them were wearing T-shirts with the acronym “Manif pour tous” and the logo of a father and mother with their two children. Six policemen caught up with them but Nicolas refused to follow them and instead went and hid in a restaurant, where he was subsequently caught and arrested"
He was charged with "rebellion" and sentenced to four months in prison with a minimum of two months incarceration to be served. He was placed in solitary confinement, allegedly for his own safety, with only his lawyer allowed to visit him. There are a dozen locked doors between his cell and the communal prison areas and his meals (along with hundreds of letters) are delivered through a hatch. These are unusually harsh conditions and the sentence itself exceeds both the letter and spirit of French law: Nicolas was not accused of any criminal action: his "offence" was to be present (and an organiser of) an anti-gay marriage vigil. See RTL news for mainstream coverage of this story.

Many thanks to John Smeaton for highlighting Nicolas' case and for providing contact information for the French Embassy. May I strongly encourage all readers to write to the French Ambassador in their country and protest Nicolas Bernard-Buss' unlawful incarceration in the strongest (polite) terms. Details for the French Embassy in London are below:

His Excellency Bernard Emié
French Embassy in the United Kingdom
58 Knightsbridge
Tel: 020 7073 1000

Monday 17 June 2013

Blessing of lilies in a prairie parish

If it seems that things have been a little quiet on the blog over the past three or so weeks it's because we've been on holiday in western Canada visiting family and doing some wonderful hiking and wildlife spotting in the Rocky Mountains.

One of the highlights of our trip has been our discovery (and temporary adoption) of the Traditional Latin Mass community at St Anthony's Parish in Calgary. St Anthony's is a bi-ritual parish with both Traditional and Novus ordo communities and priests; the Traditional community's priests are from the FSSP. We loved Fr Anthony Sumich who gave some of the most hard-hitting and engaging sermons that we've heard away from our home parish. The servers were impeccable -- impressively so as there were many young ones; and the families we met were incredibly kind and welcoming. We could quite happily have settled in this parish forever! It's a thriving and growing community - there are currently two priests, based in Calgary, serving all of Alberta (one goes North to Edmonton to say Sunday Mass). To give you some indication of parish size: the Corpus Christi procession (around the local streets with three altars stationed around the neighbourhood) had over 400 participants. Today's procession for the parish's patronal feast (1st Class, moved to the nearest Sunday) wasn't as large, but was still the best part of two sides of a city block long. It was wonderful to hear the Rosary sung in Latin through leafy suburban streets. It was, my husband reminded me, a lot like our parish's Day with Mary procession. It's that universality that I love about being Catholic -- it makes no difference whether you're in a prairie parish or an outer London suburb.
Here are a couple of taster photos of today's traditional blessing of the lilies and of the statue before the procession... I'm hoping to blog more about our time in Canada when I get home...
The aspersion of the lilies after the traditional blessing

The procession sets off with servers and the statue at the front, followed by flag-bearers with the flags of countries represented in the TLM community, then parishioners followed by the choir and Fr Sumich

The statue back in the church after the procession