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Pope Francis states that Father Hamel is a martyr, emphasizes that killing in God’s name is satanic

September 14, 2016

On the morning of September 14, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, Pope Francis offered Mass for the repose of the soul of Father Jacques Hamel, the 85-year-old priest who was murdered in July while he was celebrating Mass at the parish of Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray, France.

The priest was killed by two migrants who had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.

Preaching at Domus Sanctae Marthae, Pope Francis began his homily by recalling the martyrdom of the early Christians who refused to commit apostasy.

“Today in the Church there are more Christian martyrs than in the early days,” Pope Francis preached. “Today there are Christians murdered, tortured, imprisoned, slaughtered because they do not deny Jesus Christ.”

“Father Jacques Hamel was slain as he celebrated the sacrifice of Christ’s crucifixion,” the Pope preached, as he recalled that Father Hamel said, “Go away, Satan,” as he was dying. “A good man, a meek man, a man who always tried to build peace was murdered … This is the satanic thread of persecution.”

“What a pleasure it would be if all religious confessions would say: ‘to kill in the name of God is satanic,’” the Pope added.

Stating that Father Hamel is a martyr-- “we should pray to him, he is a martyr!”-- the Pope concluded by praying for “meekness, brotherhood, peace, and even the courage to tell the truth: to kill in the name of God is satanic.”


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  • Posted by: Bernadette - Sep. 26, 2016 8:23 PM ET USA

    I beg to contradict the pope. Father Hamel is not a martyr in the sense that the Church teaches about martyrdom and what makes one a martyr. Fr. Hamel did not refuse to deny his faith or say anything like "I forgive you" to his assailants. He, as the nun who witnessed the killing and ran away, tried to defend himself. A martyr, a true martyr of the faith does not try to defend himself but offers himself up and often forgives the murderer. As far as we know Fr. H acted in a purely human way.