Catholic World News

Terror attack survivor describes murder of Father Hamel

September 30, 2016

A French man who survived the terrorist attack on the church of St. Etienne du Rouvray has described the killing of Father Jacques Hamel.

Guy Coponet, a layman who was attending Mass on the day of the attack, told Famille Chretienne that he had been forced by the Islamic terrorists to hold a video camera, recording the murder, so that they might post the video on the internet. "I had to film my friend Father Jacques' murder!" said Coponet. "I can't get over it."

Father Hamel resisted the attack, but Coponet said that he was convinced the priest did not condemn his killers. On the contrary, he said, Father Hamels appeared clearly to believe that his assailants were in the grip of some demonic power. As he fell, he said: "Begone, Satan!"

Coponet himself was stabbed in the neck by the terrorists after Father Hamels died, and barely survived.

The church of St. Etienne du Rouvray, which has been closed since the crime, will reopen on Sunday.

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