On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the execution by the Paris Commune of ten ecclesiastics, three hundred faithful gathered on Saturday, May 29 to travel the 4 kilometers that separate the La Roquette square - site of the former prison where the future victims were imprisoned - of the parish of Notre-Dame des Otages, built on the place where 49 people were shot by the federates, militant and anticlerical atheists.
Among these fifty victims was Msgr. Georges Darboy (1863-1871), archbishop of Paris, as well as a dozen priests and seminarians, to whom were added 35 gendarmes, all shot on May 24, 1871 by order of the Commune of Paris.
Historian Jean Sévilla does not equivocate in defining the Commune as “the left of the far left.” An anarchic revolutionary movement born of the defeat of 1870 which claimed many victims, it was repressed in a bloody manner by Adolphe Thiers.
This year, the mayor of Paris decided to commemorate the 150th anniversary of this sad page in the history of France, with more than 50 events. So, a procession was organized for Saturday, May 29 between the Place de la République and the Mur des Fédérés, at Père-Lachaise.
This is how the Catholic gathering came into contact with these heirs of the Commune.
They could not bear to see this peaceful demonstration commemorating the barbaric execution of a bishop and his priests. The situation heated up quickly. It went from insults – “Down with the zucchetto” - to more aggressive cries.
“Down with, down with, down with the Versaillais!” In memory of the battalions which were in charge of repressing the Commune and which came from Versailles.
It became constant harassment: banners torn and trampled, punches, throwing garbage cans, bottles, wire fences, as one witness recounts.
The enraged began shoving sixty-year-olds and making them fall, causing several injuries. The light police contingent could not contain the attackers. The faithful eventually had to take refuge in a church for an hour, before being escorted out two by two.
Anti-Catholic hatred remains intact in revolutionary and leftist circles, who do not hesitate to attack families, children, and the elderly in the name of a deadly ideal, violently opposed to the Christian order.