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Au Revoir, Nuns Of Nantes

Two Catholic sisters cause nationwide sensation by announcing departure from left-wing French city in face of crime, chaos, illegal immigration
Screen Shot 2023-03-07 at 10.20.48 AM

In the French city of Nantes, that illegal African migrant above (he says earlier in the clip that he has no papers) tells a French TV reporter, "I don't think the French don't want us." He's wrong. More on this in a second.

Progressive urban governments ruin everything.


Meanwhile, in the major French regional city of Nantes, two Catholic nuns have caused a national sensation by saying they're leaving the left-governed city, which has been overrun by criminal violence, much of it attributable to illegal immigration. Excerpts:

The news about two Catholic nuns having to leave Nantes’ city center after years of growing insecurity is just one more indication of how badly things have gone during the last decade in this formerly peaceful provincial French city of 300,000 inhabitants — 1 million if we include the surrounding metropolitan area — lying next to Brittany, to which it belongs historically and culturally.

“Just yesterday (on Tuesday, Feb. 28, ed.), during my teaching in the church, we had to ask the audience to expel a person from the street who had come in drunk. And it smelled like cannabis in front of the church. It’s a sad reality of our daily lives,” one of the two nuns told French Christian daily “La Croix.”

The two announced their decision to move to another city in a letter published on the parish’s website last Sunday.

Sister Marie-Anne Leroux, 56, and Sister Agathe Dutrey, 44, belong to the Fraternity of Benedictine Apostolic Sisters. In their letter to parishioners, they explain their decision with the climate of growing insecurity in downtown Nantes — a description that many French people throughout the country would say reflects their own experience as well.



As a local center-right opposition councilor told reporters from the weekly “Valeurs Actuelles” in an article that was published under the title “Nantes, a lost territory of the Republic” last September, the number of crimes and the level of violence in Nantes do not differ much from other French cities of that size. However, what is shocking is the metamorphosis this provincial city has gone through, with a sudden degradation of the situation during the past decade.

Two factors have led to this situation: uncontrolled immigration, with a growing number of “unaccompanied minors,” i.e., of illegal immigrants who claim to be under 18, along with an unusual concentration of radical leftist organizations, some of them with violent activists who have been tolerated or sometimes even encouraged by the authorities. This increased presence of the radical Left in Nantes dates back to the protests against the construction of an airport in nearby Notre-Dames-des-Landes in the early 2010s.

The city’s mayor, Johanna Rolland, was first elected in 2014. Since then, she has also been presiding over Nantes’ metropolitan area and serves as the French Socialist Party’s first deputy secretary. Her majority in the city council consists of a coalition of members of the Socialist Party, the Communist Party, the Green Party, and other smaller left-wing parties.

From a translation of the two nuns' letter to their parish. They say the bad guys aren't afraid of the cops:

However, as we see, the escalation of violence we are witnessing will not subside with a stronger presence of law enforcement. These can mitigate certain effects, but no one is fooled: those who create this climate of insecurity have not changed their behavior with the arrival of the police.

For us, over time, it became too tiring. When we are in the Sainte-Croix church, we are always on the alert, always ready to react to any lack of respect for the place, the people or the celebration taking place there.

During the day, we sometimes have to intervene in the church for situations of overflow or violence. It is most often the result of people in psychological distress or under the influence of narcotics or alcohol, or all of these at the same time.

This constant state of alert prevents us from living prayer as it is lived in our Benedictine vocation. We are not "Franciscans of the Bronx" and we are not destined to be security guards, even if we have taken some "self defense" lessons.

I would once again like to point out to you readers that the Hungarians don't have these problems. They are not as wealthy as the French (France per capita annual income: $43,659; Hungary per capita annual income: $18,728), but the Hungarians do have peaceful streets, and the peace of mind that comes with that. And do you know why? They do not have a big immigrant population. The Orban government won't have it. It cares about its people, and that they have a future.

In fact, just last night I was talking to an Alabama friend and reader of this blog who visited me here a year ago with his 12-year-old son, and he said, as he often does, that he couldn't get over how safe he felt here, walking the streets. "I don't think there's a single American city where I'd feel as safe out on the streets, especially at night," he said.

Not my former city, Baton Rouge. Cops just found the rotting body of a missing Georgia businessman rolled up in a carpet in a bad part of town. He was apparently abducted and robbed as he left a bar in the downtown entertainment district at night, headed back to his hotel.

To be clear, Budapest is a liberal city governed by a left-wing municipal government. But it doesn't have the drug and crime problems that other European cities do, and that American cities do. There's a reason for that. Two years ago, amid a surge in shocking anti-Semitic violence across Europe, committed by Muslims, I noted in this space that according to official statistics, Hungary -- a country slandered constantly in the global media because it's prime minister says unkind things about George Soros -- is one of the safest European country for Jews. And:

If you could wind back the clock fifty years, and show the French, the Belgian, and the German people what mass immigration from the Muslim world would do to their countries by 2021, they never, ever would have accepted it. The Hungarians are learning from their example. It is impossible to look westward from Hungary, and to see a desirable future in the models elsewhere in the European Union. Hungarians are European, but they see among the European left, and among the European establishment figures (of left and right), a death wish. They seem to believe that the only way to live in harmony with these imported peoples and cultures is to train new generations of European children to despise their own culture and traditions. In this sense, secular liberalism has become a suicide pact for Western nations.

And yet, progressive city governments like the one in Nantes keep rolling on. Similarly in America, they seem unable to control the crime and drug abuse making cities less livable. I was a kid in the 1970s, a time when urban life in America was considered to be a nightmare. By the late Nineties, when so much of that turned around, I thought I would never see a return to the Bad Old Days, because we had all learned our lesson. Nope. Didn't happen. Progressive theories of human nature, of criminality, of racial oppression, and so forth, have wrecked the places. And we see now what happens when the libertarian-progressive commitment to ending the drug war leads to.

It's true that the problems in Nantes aren't exactly the same as the problems in US cities. Again, Nantes, like the rest of France, suffers from huge numbers of criminal illegal aliens. But Nantes is like Portland, San Francisco, and other ailing US cities in that it is governed by the Left. Alas for the people in those cities, in a democracy, you get the government you vote for. At least the streets of Nantes won't be troubled by those two nuns anymore, as civilization slowly flees.

(On this, my last week running this TAC blog, I'm letting you readers know with every post that you will be able to continue following me as a paid subscriber to Rod Dreher's Diary -- $5/month, or $50/year, plus fantastic comments sections.)

UPDATE: In Milan this week, a young Moroccan illegal alien with a criminal record celebrated diversity by robbing and stabbing six Italians. The left-wing mayor of Milan told the newspapers: "The theme is that many of the cities, almost all the big cities of the world, experience this type of problem."

Actually, no. Not Budapest. Not Warsaw. Why is that, do you think?

UPDATE.2: A reader writes:

In addition to your Nuns of Nantes.  It's not just the bigger European towns.  I used to live in the German state of Lower Saxony.  This appeared in the March 3, 2023 Bild.de 

\\  English translation of a 41 yr old Afghan stabbing a 26-year old German woman in front of her 3-year old child and boyfriend because he refused the Afghan's romantic overtures.  Verden is a town of ~28,000 in the German state of Lower Saxony.  

Translation follows:

Verden – Shocking footage of the knife attack on a woman (26) in the Verden E-Center.

A surveillance camera filmed the entire crime, which the victim’s son (3) had to witness up close. Denial is pointless for Dinmohamad T. (41), he now has to answer for attempted murder in court.

It was just after 3 p.m. when the Afghan approached her and her son. According to the indictment, he told her boyfriend that she was his girlfriend. Suddenly the perpetrator stabbed the woman over the three-year-old’s head.

She tries to flee, but is caught up by the attacker. Again and again the perpetrator stabs the woman lying on the ground with full force. According to the indictment on the head, neck and thorax until an employee comes running and intervenes without hesitation.

“The defendant was of the opinion that she did not deserve to live because of the love she had scorned,” the accusation said.

Original report in German:   Mutter niedergestochen: Kamera filmt Messer-Attacke an Fleischtheke   "Mother Stabbed Down:  Camera films Knife attack at the Butcher counter"