VATICAN REACTS WITH HORROR AT FRENCH PRIEST FR. JACQUES HAMEL MARTYRED BY ISIS MILITANTS
by Richard Ducayne • ChurchMilitant.com • July 26, 2016
ROUEN, France (ChurchMilitant.com) – The Vatican is expressing its horror at the beheading of a French priest by two knife-wielding ISIS members Tuesday morning. The Muslims attacked a Catholic church in Rouen, slitting the throat of the 84-year-old priest during Mass.
The terrorists were shot dead by the police after killing the priest and taking several people, including two nuns, hostage for over 40 minutes. A third nun escaped the scene and alerted the police, who took action and shot the Islamic terrorists as they left the church screaming “Daesh” — anather name for ISIS.
The priest was identified as Fr. Jacques Hamel, who had served the community for 58 years.
Another man, who was arrested in April 2015 for planning an attack on multiple churches in France, had placed the parish in Rouen on his list of targeted churches. The list was found in his apartment by authorities. According to a top prosecutor, the man was asked to attack the churches by a contact in Syria.
Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi released a statement Tuesday saying the Vatican is horrified by the priest’s murder. Pope Francis also expressed “pain and horror for this absurd violence.”
“Everyone knew him very well,” Claude-Albert Seguin, 68, said of Hamel. “He was very loved in the community and a kind man.”
ISIS’ media arm, the Amaq news agency, said the attack was carried out by two of its soldiers. French President François Hollande confirmed the attackers had sworn allegiance to the extremist group.
“My family has lived here for 35 years and we have always known him,” said Eulalie Garcia, a member of Fr. Hamel’s parish.
Garcia added, “He was someone who was treasured by the community. He was very discreet and didn’t like to draw attention to himself.”
Seguin told the Associated Press, “Everyone knew him very well. He was very loved in the community and a kind man.”
In 2014, ISIS propaganda magazine Dabiq released an issue showing the famous St. Peter’s Square obelisk with the ISIS flag on top of it. The magazine claimed that one day Islamic Sharia will conquer Rome.
“We will conquer your Rome, break your crosses, and enslave your women, by the permission of Allah, the Exalted,” ISIS spokesman Mohammed Al-Adnani said. “If we do not reach that time, then our children and grandchildren will reach it, and they will sell your sons as slaves at the slave market.”
Richard Ducayne is a staff writer for ChurchMilitant.com.
Follow Richard on Twitter: @RichardDucayne.
Read the source and comments: http://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/priest-in-france-martyred-by-isis-during-mass
The Church’s newest martyr: Jacques Hamel, pray for us
Hamel, who was born in 1930, was “a good priest…discrete. He was quiet, didn’t like attention,” said Father John Hogan, OCDS, a Secular Discalced Carmelite priest.
“He assumed his duties to the end. He was well-liked. It seems he was a simple, faithful priest, quietly serving God and his people,” the priest tweeted.
A woman who works at a local beauty parlour, Eulalie Garcia, said she had known the priest since her childhood.
“My family has lived here for 35 years and we have always known him,” she said, according to the BBC..
“He was someone who was treasured by the community. He was very discreet and didn’t like to draw attention to himself.”
President Hollande has visited the scene and described the violence as a “vile terrorist attack” perpetrated by attackers who claimed to be from Islamic State (Isis). Prime minister Manuel Valls expressed “horror at [the] barbaric attack on [the] church.”
From the Vatican:
Pope Francis is horrified and shocked by an attack in a church in Rouen, in northern France, where a priest was slain and another hostage was seriously wounded.
A statement released by Fr Federico Lombardi, Director of the Holy See Press Office said: “we are particularly shocked because this horrible violence took place in a Church, in which God’s love is announced, with the barbarous killing of a priest and the involvement of the faithful”.
Fr Lombardi also said the Pope shares the pain and the horror caused by this absurd violence and expresses firm condemnation of every form of hatred and prays for the victims.
Two attackers entered the church of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray during Mass on Tuesday morning, taking the elderly priest and four other people hostage before being shot dead by French police.
There were no immediate details on the identity or motives of the two assailants but the investigation was handed to the anti-terrorist unit of the Paris prosecutor’s office.
In his statement Fr Lombardi commented on the fact that the terrible news is unfortunately the latest in a series of violent attacks in the past days which have created immense pain and preoccupation.
Father Lombardi said the Pope is close to the Church in France, to the Archdiocese of Rouen, to the local community and to the French people.
Read the source and comments: http://aleteia.org/blogs/deacon-greg-kandra/the-churchs-newest-martyr-jacques-hamel-pray-for-us/
Pope Francis, through Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, has sent a message of condolences to Archbishop Dominique Lebrun of Rouen, France, following the dramatic events this morning in the church of nearby Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, where two men armed with knives entered and took hostage the priest, two nuns and two faithful.
They subsequently killed the priest, Fr. Jacques Hamel, aged 86, by cutting his throat, and seriously wounded another hostage.
“Informed of the hostage-taking in the church of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, which has caused the death of a priest and in which one of the hostages has been gravely injured, His Holiness Pope Francis assures you of his spiritual closeness and joins in prayer with the suffering of the families and with the pain of the parish and the diocese of Rouen. He implores God, Father of mercy, to welcome Fr. Jacques Hamel in the peace of His light, and comfort the injured person. The Holy Father is particularly troubled to learn that this act of violence took place in a church, during Mass, a liturgical act that implores of God His peace on earth. He asks the Lord to inspire in all thoughts of reconciliation and fraternity in this new trial, and to extend to everyone the abundance of His blessings.”
Islamic State said the attack was carried out by two of its “soldiers.”
Archbishop of Rouen Responds to Slaying of Priest
The archbishop of Rouen responded from Krakow to the news of the attack today at the Church of Saint-Etienne du Rouvray, where an 84-year-old priest was taken hostage as he was celebrating Mass and subsequently killed. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Archbishop Dominique Lebrun was in Krakow for World Youth Day; the Pope arrives in Poland tomorrow. The archbishop is headed back to France.
Here is a provisional English translation of the archbishop’s statement.
From Krakow, I have learnt with sadness of the killing this morning at the Church of Saint-Etienne du Rouvray. The three victims: the priest, Father Jacques Hamel, 84, and the authors of the assassination. Three other people were injured, one very seriously. I cry out to God with all men of good will. I would invite non-believers to join in the cry! With the young people at WYD, we pray as we prayed at the tomb of Father Popiulusko in Warsaw, assassinated during the communist regime.
The Vicar General, Father Philippe Maheut, is on location since the beginning. I will be tonight in my diocese with the families and the parish community which is very much in shock. The Catholic Church cannot take weapons other than those of prayer and brotherhood among men. I leave here hundreds of young people who are the future of humanity, the true ones. I ask them not to give in to the violence and become apostles of the civilization of love.
Archbishop of Rouen
July 26, 2016
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