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French president honors Father Hamel, pays tribute to Church, town residents

July 27, 2017

President Emmanuel Macron spoke at the unveiling of a “stone for peace and fraternity” in honor of Father Jacques Hamel on the anniversary of his slaying.

Two Muslim men who had pledged allegiance to ISIS slit the 85-year-old priest’s throat on July 26, 2016, while he was celebrating Mass in Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray.

“By killing Father Hamel at the foot of the altar, the two terrorists sought to sow a thirst for revenge and retaliation among Catholics in France,” said Macron. “But they failed.”

Macron thanked French Catholics for “finding in their faith and prayer the strength to forgive,” and thanked the town’s residents for “setting the same example for the whole of France, for rejecting the thirst for revenge and retaliation, and for choosing together, from the very beginning, to walk the path of peace.”

Stating that France is not a “kingdom of relativism,” Macron added:

At the heart of our laws and rules, there is something non-negotiable forged by our history, something we do not compromise on, something sacred: this something is what makes us human, it is love, hope, the gift of self, our care for the other. Father Hamel has embodied all of this.

 
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  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Jul. 27, 2017 8:09 AM ET USA

    Your excerpt forgot to mention Macron's acknowledgment of God as being at the heart of moral laws and rules, God as that sacred Thing that stands behind every good done by every man. But wait, Macron did _not_ acknowledge the Christ God as the sacred Thing that Fr. Hamel had most embodied in his life. Given Macron's self-motivated conversion to Catholicism at age 12, one could expect such acknowledgment. But as La Croix (10 Apr) quotes him: "I do not make...an element of claim" to spirituality.