French priest stood down after criticising terror victims

A French priest has been stood down after he compared those killed in the Bataclan concert hall in Paris with the ISIS terrorists who shot them.

Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of Lyon announced the standing down of Fr Hervé Benoît last Friday.

The priest had written a column posted to a traditionalist website in which he strongly criticised the California rock group, Eagles of Death Metal, who were playing at the Bataclan concert hall, where 89 people were killed on November 13.

Fr Benoît also spoke out against the band’s audience.

“Look at the photos of the audience moments before the drama,” the article read.

“These poor children of the lefty generation, in an ecstatic trance . . . they are the living dead.

“Their killers, these zombies, are their Siamese twins.

“It’s so obvious! . . .Same childishness, same lack of culture . . . Violence, sex, drugs, making a racket . . . you invoke the devil for a laugh? He will take you seriously.”

Fr Benoît also appeared to equate the deaths of those gunned down by terrorists with abortion, saying: “130 deaths, that’s awful! And 600 deaths, what is that? That’s the number of abortions in France on the same day. Where is the horror?”

The priest had been a chaplain at Lyon’s Fourvière Basilica.

Bishop Armand Maillard of Bourges, said: “The tone of this column does not show the attitude of a pastor who meets, listens to and accompanies people in suffering, it does not show an attitude of grace.”

Cardinal Barbarin said he had met Fr Benoît, had listened to him, and, along with his bishop, decided to relieve the priest of all pastoral duties in the diocese.

The cardinal said he had urged Fr Benoît to “withdraw to an abbey to take time to pray and reflect”.

petition on the site “” demanding the priest be deposed had reached over 42,000 signatures by the time of Friday’s announcement.

The organisers of the petition wrote: “There’s a lot of talk about extremism linking it to Islam, let’s not forget that it exists in all religions”.


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