CV NEWS FEED // An arson attack perpetrated by a masked man against a Catholic Church in Western Canada was caught on camera and is being investigated as a hate crime.
Father James Hentges, pastor of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Regina, in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan, Canada, shared the video caught by his security camera showing a masked male pouring gasoline and then lighting fire to the parish’s office entrance.
According to a news release from Regina police, “firefighters were called to the church at 2049 Scarth Street at roughly 3:40 a.m CST on Feb. 9. They found the church’s back door on fire and were able to extinguish it. Investigators determined it was arson.”
The parish’s website announced that “because of the Arson/Fire, and necessary clean-up, there will be no scheduled Eucharist at Blessed Sacrament Church until Wednesday.”
The parish will be able to restart services in time for Ash Wednesday, during which two Masses are already scheduled.
The pastor, Fr. Hentges, who describes himself as “new to the Archdiocese of Regina, in fact, new to Saskatchewan and to Canada,” is a Minnesota native who “besides serving as the administrator of Blessed Sacrament Parish, I am also working with Archbishop Bolen and others in the Archdiocese Pastoral Centre as Director of Clergy Files.”
According to Canada’s public TV, as of January 2024, “at least 33 Canadian churches have burned to the ground since May 2021. So far, 24 are confirmed arsons.”
“Churches have been targeted in the United States and around the world in what has easily been one of the most underreported (in some cases not reported at all) stories of the last decade. The problem? When it comes to press coverage, not all religious sanctuaries are created equal,” the expert said.
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Author: CV News Feed
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