The Islamic State is claiming responsibility for a cowardly slaughter of an 86 year-old priest who was celebrating a morning Mass in a church of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, Normandy. Entering through the rear door of the church, two men yelled allegiance to Daesh (ISIS) and commenced their attack.
Abbe Jacques Hamel, born in 1930 in Darnétal and ordained a priest in 1958, was vicar of the parish of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray. He celebrated his golden jubilee in 2008. Also taken hostage were two nuns and two worshipers. Another nun managed to escape and was able to alert authorities.
Reports are the priest’s throat was slit and that one of the worshipers, attacked in the same way, is in critical condition after what President François Hollande has called as a “vile terror attack”.
“[ISIS] has declared war on us. We must fight this war by all means, while respecting the rule of law — which is what makes us a democracy.”
“The Pope is informed and feels the deep pain and horror of this absurd violence, and forcefully condemns with the strongest condemnation for every form of hatred, and prayer for those affected,” said Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi, who added the attack hits all the harder “because this horrific violence took place in a church, a sacred place in which the love of God is announced, and the barbaric murder of a priest, and the involvement of the faithful.”
The Sun (UK) reports that the church was one of a number of Catholic places of worship mentioned on a hitlist, discovered on an ISIS suspect in April 2015.Eternal rest grant unto Abbe Jacques, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in peace. Amen.