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Priest who smashed statue in church blames stress and fatigue

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Image: Shutterstock/Taigi

A FRENCH VILLAGE priest who smashed a statue of Jesus in his church has blamed the stress and fatigue of his job for an act which shocked his congregation.

Jean-Jacques Le Roy, 55, a priest in Plestin-les-Greves in Brittany, shouted out “one less!” as he threw the statue to the ground last Thursday during a visit by a sacred art commission.

Vicar-general Gerard Nicole said Le Roy did not like the style of sculpture and local media said he had previously smashed a religious statue in front of a future married couple.

However Le Roy said his act was not deliberate but that he had pushed the statue too hard while checking if it was properly attached to a wall.

“In our ministry, we are called upon from all directions, there aren’t many priests, there is a certain fatigue, irritation, stress, it all came together at that moment,” he told AFP.

He apologised to those present, but his congregation wrote a letter to the bishop to complain.

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“We can understand that people are shocked,” said Nicole. “I don’t rule out a moment of difficulty, of distress.”

Nicole said that Le Roy had been summoned to explain himself to the local bishop.

- © AFP, 2015

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