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Archbishop of Rouen: After the murder of Fr. Jacques, fear spread, but more started going to Mass

2016-09-14

It was a Mass full of emotions, initiated by the memory of Fr. Jacques Hamel.

Monsignor Dominique Lebrun, archbishop of Fr. Hamel's diocese, explained some of the details of his meeting with Pope Francis. He stressed the encounter occurred precisely on a day designated to Catholics.

MSGR. DOMINIQUE LEBRUN
Bishop of Rouen (France)
"He signed the photo before Mass and quickly asked that it was placed on the altar. We celebrated the Mass with Fr. Jacques' photo on the altar. This was the first great sign. The pope welcomed us today, on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. I do not know if it was a coincidence on his schedule or with his heart, but I'm sure it was the heart of God who chose this meeting on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross." 

The cruelty of the killing shocked the world. Fr. Jacques was beheaded in his parish, while celebrating Mass on July 26. The priest's sister clarifies that the murderers acted on behalf of Daesh, but not in the name of the God of Islam. The archbishop repeated the words of the pope: it was a satanic act.

ROSELYN HAMEL
Sister of Fr. Jacques Hamel
"Our Muslim brothers pray to a God that is our God. He is a God of love, tolerance, sharing. It is clear that these young people who killed my brother have killed in the name of a God who kills and that is not the God of Islam. It is not the same God the Christians have."

MSGR. DOMINIQUE LEBRUN
Bishop of Rouen (France)
"I think the murderers were under the influence of the devil, of Satan." 

They explained that Pope Francis was very attentive to them and one-by-one greeted the 80 pilgrims who came to the ceremony, in honor of the priest whose tomb has become a pilgrimage spot. Although fear spread throughout France after the jihadist attacks, people have not stopped going to Mass.

MSGR. DOMINIQUE LEBRUN
Archbishop of Rouen (France)
"There is fear, without a doubt. A week ago, I met with the vicars of the diocese and everyone told me that some people phoned asking if there was Mass, if they could go, if there a risk. At the same time, more people are at Mass. On a psychological level, there is fear, but on a deep level in the soul, there is strength."

This photo, which was on the altar at Mass with the pope, will be placed in a church in the diocese of Rouen at the request of Pope Francis, because as the archbishop explained, Fr. Jacques Hamel is already a blessed.


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