NANTES, France (ChurchMilitant.com) - A Muslim man disrupted Mass in France, grabbing the microphone and shouting "Allahu Akbar," and the diocese is being suspected of covering up the scandal.
At Pentecost Mass at Ss. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Nantes on May 20, a 25-year-old man of African descent stormed the pulpit during the homily, grabbing the microphone from the bishop. At least one eyewitness claims the man shouted "Allahu Akbar," which means "God is the greatest."
But the diocese is denying it took place — an action Islam expert Robert Spencer says suits the French bishops' "narrative" that Islam is a so-called religion of peace.
"Stories such as this one interfere with that narrative," Spencer told Church Militant.
Father Benoît Bertrand, Vicar General of the Diocese of Nantes, told local newspaper Presse-Ocean that he did not hear the disruptor say the phrase "Allahu Akbar" during his rant. Father Bertrand said he was standing right next to Bp. Jean-Paul James during the homily when the man stormed the pulpit, took the microphone and began shouting.
"The Catholic Church under Pope Francis is committed to the idea that Islam is a religion of peace and that Catholics should welcome the Muslim migrant influx into Europe," Spencer commented to Church Militant.
Those present in the cathedral say the man seemed mentally deranged, according to reports. Spencer said:
The problem with this is that authorities all over Europe and North America have a very long track record of ascribing what is obviously jihad activity to "mental illness." There have always been mentally ill people, but mentally ill people going into churches and disrupting services by screaming "Allahu akbar" is something new. This is just another way in which authorities try to keep people ignorant and complacent about the nature and magnitude of the jihad threat.
Spencer also commented on the news story in a recent post on his website: "It has become a superdogma in the Catholic Church: if you don't believe that Islam is a Religion of Peace, you will be ruthlessly harassed and silenced by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and the hierarchy elsewhere as well."