GROUARD, Alberta (LifeSiteNews) – A historic 122-year-old Catholic church in western Canada has sustained unrepairable heavy damage after being set ablaze in what police say was an act of arson that has led to two men being arrested and charged in connection to the fire.
On Monday, Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) assisted firefighters in putting out a blaze that engulfed most of St. Bernard Catholic Church, located in the northern Alberta community of Grouard. The fire appears to have been set in the afternoon.
The church was built in 1901 and serves the nearby indigenous community as well as residents of Grouard.
This time last year, Justin Trudeau and his media allies were at the forefront of falsely accusing Catholic institutions of having buried Indigenous children in mass graves at various residential schools across Canada.
There was and is no credible evidence to support these wild accusations, but many Canadians are still unaware of the facts.
SIGN to demand an apology from Justin Trudeau for promoting the "mass grave" smear
The anger generated by the media at home and abroad saw over twenty Canadian churches burned, and extensive damage done to many more, but the record has never been set straight in what amounts to a disinformation campaign.
Terry Glavin at the National Post recently wrote a masterful piece that may go down in history as the definitive “debunking” of the assertions about the mass graves that never were.
Glavin points out that “nothing new was added to the public record” concerning the history of residential schools in Canada.
“The legacy of the schools had already been exhaustively explored in the testimony of hundreds of elders and a series of inquiries, public hearings, criminal cases, settlements and federal investigations going back decades. Most important of these efforts were the widely publicized undertakings of the 2008-2015 Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC), and the content of its voluminous findings,” Glavin wrote.
“…[N]ot a single mass grave was discovered in Canada last year,” he added.
“The several sites of unmarked graves that captured international headlines were either already-known cemeteries, or they remain sites of speculation even now, unverified as genuine grave sites.”
“Not a single child” accounted for during the extensively researched commission “was located in any of these places,” Glavin underscored.
“In none of these places were any human remains unearthed.”
SIGN and SHARE the petition calling on Justin Trudeau to set the record straight.
Even Trudeau's kneeling at what was reported upon as a just-discovered residential school burial ground was a lie - it was actually a well-known Catholic cemetery, but the media didn't let these details get in the way of reinforcing their narrative.
Trudeau also called on Pope Francis to come to Canada and apologize for what had happened, as outlets like Reuters, the New York Times and scores more told the world that “nearly 1000 bodies” had been found in two mass graves.
Those online articles were quietly edited from "mass graves" to "unmarked graves", but we still have the Twitter posts from major outlets like Reuters to prove the staggering level of misinformation.
SIGN: Justin Trudeau must tell Canadians the truth - there were no mass graves
According to an extensive investigation by Professor Emeritus Jacques Rouillard from the Université de Montréal: “The ‘discovery’ was first reported last May 27 (2021) by Tk’emlúps te secwépemc First Nation Chief Rosanne Casimir after an anthropologist, Sarah Beaulieu, used ground-penetrating radar in a search for the remains of children alleged by some to be buried there.”
“Her preliminary report is actually based on depressions and abnormalities in the soil of an apple orchard near the school – not on exhumed remains.”
Professor Rouillard opined that the unverifiable narrative of what could have amounted to child-murder has led to the false assertion of genocide, an assertion without any supporting evidence.
“By never pointing out that it is only a matter of speculation or potentiality, and that no remains have yet been found, governments and the media are simply granting credence to what is really a thesis: the thesis of the ‘disappearance’ of children from residential schools,” Rouillard wrote.
“And all of this is based only on soil abnormalities that could easily be caused by root movements, as the anthropologist herself cautioned in the July 15 press conference.”
The vast majority of Canadians have been misled by the media and Mr. Trudeau, believing the most incredible smears imaginable, leading to scores of attacks on churches around the country.
It's time we heard the truth.
Please sign the petition today.
We are also cc'ing Canada's Catholic bishops on this petition - they must also demand the record be corrected, lest Canadians continue believing the mainstream media's disinformation.
For More Information:
How the world's media got it wrong on residential school graves - National Post
Trudeau lied about the bogus mass grave story - LifeSiteNews
Trudeau's narrative was a hoax - LifeSiteNews
**Photo: St. Jean Baptiste Church in Morinville burned to the ground on June 30, 2021**
RCMP announced Tuesday that two men were charged with arson in connection to the fire, which it said was “suspicious” in nature.
“As these matters are before the courts, no further updates or details surrounding the incident will be provided,” the RCMP said in a media statement.
“No injuries are reported at this time.”
Kenneth Ferguson, 56, of High Prairie, Alberta was charged with breaking and entering to commit theft and arson. Another individual, Gerald Capot, 50, of High Prairie was charged with breaking and entering to commit theft along with arson.
Both men were arrested and held in jail for a judicial hearing and were then remanded to appear before a Judge in High Prairie on May 29.
The blaze mostly destroyed the historic church, with only the walls standing, which Archbishop Gerard Pettipas of the Diocese of Grouard-McLennan said is a tragedy.
“They have lost something very valuable to them,” he said in comments to the media, adding that as a “whole diocese” it has “lost a treasure.”
Monsignor Charles Lavoie noted the historical value of the church, such as “paintings on the wall in the sanctuary” that was painted by the archbishop himself.
“We’re not going to be able to replace that in any way, shape or form,” he said.
According to Lavoie, the four communities affected by the fire have already been suffering from local wildfires.
Since the spring of 2021, well over 100 churches, most of them Catholic, have either been burned or vandalized across Canada. The attacks on the churches came shortly after the discovery of unmarked graves at now-closed residential schools once run by the Church in parts of Canada in the spring of last year.
In January, another historic Canadian church, St. Joseph Lutheran Church, located in Hay Lakes, Alberta, was diminished to ashes in what police said was an intentional act of arson on New Year’s Eve.
Last August, LifeSiteNews reported about the destruction by fire of one of the oldest standing Catholic churches in Alberta. Police said that the fire was a “suspicious” incident.
The fire saw the 113-year-old Catholic church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin in the remote northern Alberta town of Fort Chipewyan reduced to nothing but its burned-out foundation. The church was built by the Oblate missionaries in 1909.
In 2021 and 2022, the mainstream media ran with inflammatory and dubious claims that hundreds of children were buried and disregarded by Catholic priests and nuns who ran some of the schools. This resulted in mass church burnings across Canada.
According to a local resident of Grouard, Lorrie Anderson, the destruction of the church serves only to hurt the local indigenous community.
Anderson noted how it’s a “really big loss” and like “losing a family member, because everybody was so attached to this church one way or another.”
The RCMP are asking that anyone with information about the fire contact them at 780-523-3378. Anonymous tips can be sent to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8377, or online at www.p3tips.com.