13 September 2016
Christopher Lamb in Rome
Pope to say Mass for Fr Jacques Hamel
Fr Hamel was killed by Islamic extremists in his church this summer
Pope Francis will tomorrow say a memorial Mass in Rome for the French priest who was killed by Islamic extremists while celebrating Mass in France this summer.
The liturgy for Fr Jacques Hamel is to take place at 7am in the chapel of Francis’ residence, the Domus Sanctae Marthae, and will be attended by the Archbishop of Rouen, Dominique Lebrun, along with 80 pilgrims from the archdiocese.
In a statement the Vatican said the liturgy, to be broadcast by the Vatican’s television channel, will demonstrate the Pope’s closeness to the family of Fr Hamel and to the people of Rouen.
The 85-year-old priest was killed on 26 July while saying Mass after armed men stormed into the church of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray in Normandy and slit his throat. Before doing so they said a prayer in Arabic and ordered the priest to kneel down.
At the time the Pope condemned the act as “absurd violence” telling journalists on the papal plane to World Youth Day in Krakow that the “world is at war”.
He later clarified that this was not a “war of religions” but instead a conflict of “interests, for money, resources”.
On the plane back from Poland, Francis stressed it was wrong to equate Islam with violence saying there were extremists in every religion.
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