Priest sorry for saying band ‘inspired by Satan’

Priest sorry for saying band 'inspired by Satan'
Members of the rock group Eagles of Death Metal arrive at the Bataclan to pay tribute to the victims of the November 13 Paris terrorist attacks. Photo: Miguel Medina
A French priest apologised on Sunday for a homily in which he said the Eagles of Death Metal concert that was attacked by jihadists in Paris last month was "inspired by Satan".

“I regret fuelling a controversy about some musical genres. It was completely inappropriate and indecent,” Francois Schneider told his parishioners in the town of Wissembach in northeastern France, according to his diocese.

Shortly after Islamic State jihadists attacked Paris on November 13, Schneider criticised the band playing at the Bataclan concert hall where 90 people were killed.

A total of 130 people died on the night of horror in the French capital, where a team of nine known attackers targeted the national stadium, restaurants and bars as well as the Bataclan.

Members of Schneider's congregation complained to his diocese. 

“Sometimes we are overwhelmed when faced with the diversity and strangeness of some artistic expressions,” the priest said.

In a similar case, a priest from the eastern city of Lyon was removed from duty after saying that those who died at the Bataclan were the “Siamese twins” of their murderers.

Despite its name, the American rock band Eagles of Death Metal does not play death metal but rather a hard-charging garage rock.

They are known for loud guitars, a heavy rhythm section and tongue-in-cheek humour.

“The 'death metal' side is ironic. If they have songs that speak of the devil, it's the devil from cartoons,” said Jean-Pierre Sabouret, a rock music journalist who survived the attack by hiding for several hours.

“To say that Eagles of Death Metal are a Satanic or metal group would be as idiotic as saying that Mozart played jazz,” he told AFP last month.