Almost one hundred churches, many of them Catholic, have gone up in flames or been vandalized since the beginning of a well-organized campaign of libel against the Catholic Church in Canada back in 2021.1
The ongoing arson attacks were triggered by the images of buried objects by detector machines. Activists claim these images were the bodies of native children buried at unmarked graves at residential boarding schools for native Canadians. No exhumation was done.
The Map That Cannot Be Ignored
The unproven revelation that native Canadians children might have died at boarding schools provoked unrest among liberals who have taken revenge by attacking churches. Although not one body has been found at any of the suspected mass grave sites, the revenge attacks on Catholic churches have not stopped.2
The conservative news outlet True North created a map that shows the 96 churches, many in western Canada have been destroyed by fire, vandalized or damaged over the past two years. Many of the cases remain unresolved.
Those responsible for public order need to take notice of this map. However, the same Trudeau government that was so quick to blame the Catholic Church for the problems at residential schools, is noticeably quiet about these arson attacks.
On October 24, Liberal and NDP Members of Parliament (MPs) refused to pass a motion to condemn church burnings and acts of vandalism.
A Spree of Wanton Arson Attacks
Some of these churches are old like St. Ann’s Catholic Church, Princeton, British Columbia, have served native communities for decades. The burned down church was a hundred-year-old edifice on the land of Similkameen First Nations.
Many native leaders are upset by these attacks on their land and culture. One leader, Grand Chief Arthur Noskey said in a video: “We are asking you as members, as the Nehiyaw and the Dene, and the communities, in your communities, where you have these churches, that we’re asking you to refrain from vigilante actions against the church buildings.”3
On December 15, arsonists burned down the historic St. Gabriel Catholic Mission. The mission church stands on the land of the Chipewyan Prairie Dene First Nation. Local councilor Shane Janvier voiced their frustration in a social media video when he said: “The significance of this old church in the community, lots of celebrations at this church over the years, lots of weddings, lots of baptisms, this is a place where we’ve come to say our last respects to our loved ones and our ancestors…Enough’s enough.”4
The Catholic Church’s Mission
Contrary to the media narrative, the Catholic Church has done much to help the native peoples in Canada not only with healthcare and education but, most importantly, the gift of the Catholic Faith.
The clergy’s mission is to teach, govern and sanctify people. Since the founding of Canada, missionaries have fulfilled this mission to spread the Gospel even at the risk of their lives.
One example of this dedication is the life of Fr. Albert Lacombe in the nineteenth century, who spent many years among the Indians in Western Canada working to pacify and assist them in settling down to survive life’s challenges on the prairie.
All these missionaries gave up a comfortable life and threw themselves into the work of saving souls because they lived for an ideal: to see Canada united from coast to coast by the Catholic Faith.
What is the Real Motive Behind the Fires?
The fact that these arsonists are largely targeting the Catholic Church shows a disregard for the historic record and for the welfare of the native peoples who remain devoted to the Church and seek salvation
Above all, it shows a spirit of revolt against God, His Church and His Moral Law. These radical activists try to insert the Church into a class struggle narrative of the oppressed against the oppressors. However, the Church is the true harmonizer that leads to true peace through sanctification and the following of the Moral Law.
Photo Credit: © Kit Leong – stock.adobe.com