Had you heard about any of this? I hadn't either. And an actress overjoyed and even relieved by the news? How can this be? There must be something missing.
Oh wait... I got a piece of the story wrong:
In Holy Week, three historic Catholic churches were torched in Melbourne, Australia.
On Holy Monday, St Mary’s Church, St Kilda East and St James’ Church, Brighton were set alight. On Holy Wednesday, the third, St Mary’s Church in Dandenong went up in flames.
Maybe I just haven’t been paying attention but, as an Australian Catholic, I only heard about this today — two weeks after it happened.
There has been little media attention on this tragedy. Sadly, what coverage there was focused almost exclusively on the possible link between the churches burned and the child sex abuse scandals of the 1960s, 70s and 80s. The sadness and loss of current priests and parishioners has been pushed aside as the media has gleefully relayed the crimes that took place around these churches. The implication is clear. These churches are a burnt offering in atonement for the sins of past priests.
What the media reports insinuated, some went right ahead and said. Australian actress Rachel Griffith said she felt “great relief” and added, “I was quite elated, like many of my generation, when I heard the news this morning.”
Elated? At the news three churches had been burned?
Imagine for a moment that these weren’t Christian churches.
If they had been mosques or temples, we’d be loudly decrying such persecution and furiously examining our consciences. We’d have a nation-wide hashtag campaign and protests in support of those whose beloved sacred places had been destroyed in the most holy of weeks. (Can I suggest #illfightchurchattackswithyou)
But no, these are Christian churches.
They had it coming, you see.
"I really hope that we can heal and move forward and I think that's why this particular fire - to create a metaphor - it's sometimes out of the burning ruins that something true and authentic can be reborn and I hope that's true for this parish," Griffiths said.
I take it that her words are supposed to garner sympathetic support and represent enlightened thought.
I take it that the burning of the other two churches in the area brought her more relief, more elation and more opportunities for something true and authentic to be reborn.
If these buildings had been mosques and an airhead actress had expressed support for their burnings, there would be calls to boycott her films and blacklist her work.
But hey, it's just 3 historic Catholic churches.
Nothing to see here folks.