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A 'Religious Crime in a Secular State'


By Charles Cameron
Lapido Media

THE FRENCH Catholic priest Fr Jacques Hamel was murdered yesterday by two men claiming to act on behalf of the Islamic State (ISIS).  It was a religious crime in a secular state.

They forced the 86-year-old priest to his knees while he was saying Mass in the Église St.-Étienne (Church of St Stephen) in the Rouen suburb of St.Étienne-du-Rouvray, and cut his throat – some reports indicate they beheaded him.

Sister Danielle, a nun who escaped the church during the killing, told reporters his assailants filmed themselves cutting his throat and ‘appeared to preach in Arabic at that altar.’

ISIS later claimed the attack.

It was the latest in a series of terrorist attacks in France, following the Charlie Hebdo attack of January 2015, the November 2015 attack at the Bataclan concert hall, this year’s Bastille Day attack at Nice and others.

Fr Hamel was admired and loved by colleagues and parishioners as a humble man, always active, who told a fellow priest, ‘I’ll work until my last breath.’ The parish priest, Fr Auguste Moanda-Phuati, told reporters ‘He was a little like a grandfather. We were happy when he was around and worried when we hadn’t seen him in a while.’

And Sister Danielle said of him: ‘Jacques was an extraordinary priest. He was a great man, Father Jacques.’


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