PARIS (CNS) — Paris Archbishop Michel Aupetit planned to pray for the country Dec. 7, even as the French government dropped all fuel tax increases for 2019.
The government move came after French cities were hit with weeks of violent protests, as French demanded lower fuel taxes and better purchasing power. Images of rampage at the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs-Elysees during the Dec. 1 weekend have been shown around the world.
The demonstrations, known as the “yellow vest” protests after the high-visibility vests worn as a symbol of French citizens’ demands, were set to continue, despite the cancellation of the fuel tax increase. At least four people have died since the protests began in mid-November.
On Dec. 5, Archbishop Aupetit said he believed the protests reflected a “significant suffering of many of our fellow citizens,” but he denounced the “outrageous violence” that led to violent clashes, particularly in Paris.
The archbishop, who asked Christians to be peacemakers, said he would pray for the country at Notre Dame Cathedral’s 6:30 p.m. Mass Dec. 7, the eve of the feast of the Immaculate Conception.
Archbishop Georges Pontier of Marseilles, president of the French bishops’ conference, said Dec. 6 everyone had a responsibility for dialogue.
“This crisis clearly shows a lack of listening and dialogue in our country, some divisions and misunderstandings … a growing mistrust toward any institution and the loss of confidence in intermediary bodies,” he said. He also condemned the violence that marked some demonstrations.
“Only a courageous and constructive dialogue can contribute to the search for the common good,” he added.
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103