During the night of Nov. 14–15, unidentified persons destroyed the altar and stole sacred vessels from the Basilica of the Sacred Heart in the Archdiocese of Rouen, France.
According to the French newspaper Le Figaro, the prosecutor’s office confirmed that the Sacré-Coeur basilica was vandalized and that the unidentified persons also smashed a statue, although the Blessed Sacrament was not stolen.
The authorities have not yet identified the vandals, but local police have already launched an investigation to find them.
In a video posted on X Nov. 15, Father Geoffroy de la Tousche, priest of the parishes in downtown Rouen, explained that the state of the basilica is “completely appalling: a statue was broken, the sacred vessels were stolen, the sanctuary was also very damaged.”
“By chance, grace, or providence, the Blessed Sacrament wasn’t stolen, but everything has been left in an appalling, dramatic state,” he added.
“I invite you to pray for us, for the parish, and I encourage you that tomorrow [Nov. 16], at 6:15 p.m. there will be a time prayer and reparation, at the request of the archbishop [Dominique Lebrun],” the priest explained to the faithful.
De la Tousche added that after the prayer, Mass will be celebrated with sacred vessels loaned by the archbishop, and then two hours of Eucharistic adoration will take place.
A recent report from the Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians in Europe (OIDAC) indicates that France ranks third for the most hate crimes against Christians in 2022, with 106 out of a total of 748.