A French priest has compared the Bataclan concert-goers to the Islamic State (Isis) terrorists who killed them saying they were "Siamese brothers". He also likened the 130 victims massacred in Paris on Friday 13 November to the number of abortions in France the same day.
Father Benoit, who was later dismissed from his role by cardinal Philippe Barbarin, published the controversial column on ultra-Catholic website Riposte Catholique one week after the attacks in Paris. In it, he slammed the Eagles of Death Metal (EODM), a California rock band playing at the popular concert hall when Islamist terrorists opened fire killing 89 people.
He called the band's audience "living dead" and "poor children of the lefty generation" trapped in an "ecstatic trance".
"Their killers, these zombies, are their Siamese brothers," he wrote.
"It's so obvious!... Same childishness, same lack of culture...Violence, sex, drugs, making a racket ... you invoke the devil for a laugh? He will take you seriously," Benoit said, referring to the song Kiss the Devil which the band was playing as the gunmen went on a shooting rampage.
Benoit, who was in charge at Lyon's famous Fourviere Basilica, went on comparing the victims to the number of abortions in France on the same day. "130 deaths, that's awful! And 600 deaths, what is that? That's the number of abortions in France on the same day. Where is the horror?"
In relieving Benoit of his duties, Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, the archbishop of Lyon, urged the priest to "withdraw to an abbey to take time to pray and reflect".
It is not the first time that the EODM has been criticised by Catholic fanatics. A controversial American pastor, Kevin Swanson, said the 89 victims at the Bataclan concert hall received divine retribution, according to the Telegraph.
"They went from singing about the devil to meeting him face-to-face," he said.
"The devil itself entered into the concert hall and showed concert-goers the works of the devil. At that point, we need to ask concert-goers, or at least the ones who survived, did you love the devil and did you love the devil's works as your friends were being shot up in that massacre.
"I'm deadly serious in asking this question. The microphone is in the face right now of those who attended the concert....did you appreciate the works of the devil when your friends were being shot up."