The Catholic Pontiff, Pope Francis has condemned in strong terms the Tuesday killing of an elderly Catholic Priest Fr. Jacques Hamel 84, after his church in northern France was taken hostage during Mass.
In a statement released Tuesday by the Vatican, the Pope, having been informed of the situation, “participates in the pain and horror of this absurd violence,” while radically condemning “every form of hatred. ”The statement said the pontiff is praying for those affected by the tragedy, which took place in the Normandy region, adding that the Vatican is following the situation.
Fr. Jacques Hamel, 84, was killed Tuesday 26th July, after two armed gunmen stormed a church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray during Mass, the BBC reports.
“We are especially moved because this horrible violence took place in a Church — a sacred place in which God’s love is announced — with the barbaric murder of a priest and the involvement of the faithful,” the Vatican’s statement read. “We are close to the French Church, the Rouen archdiocese, to the affected community, and the French people.”
Pope Francis has also sent a telegram to Archbishop Dominique Lebrun of Rouen, assuring him of his “spiritual closeness,” and his prayers for the suffering of the families, the parish community, and the diocese. In the telegram, signed by Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Pope prayed that God “welcomes Fr. Jacques Hamelin and bring comfort to the injured persons affected.” That the “act of violence” took place during Mass, the pontiff “implores God’s peace for the world,” the telegram read. He prayed that God might inspire “thoughts of reconciliation and fraternity.”