Priest killed by ji­hadists laid to rest

The Myanmar Times - - World -

FRANCE paid its last re­spects to Fa­ther Jac­ques Hamel, the 85-year-old priest mur­dered by ji­hadists last week, at an emo­tional fu­neral held un­der tight se­cu­rity at the cathe­dral in Rouen.

“As bru­tal and unfair and hor­ri­ble as Jac­ques’ death was, we have to look deep into our hearts to find the light,” said Rouen Arch­bishop Do­minique Le­brun.

Some 2000 mourn­ers packed the soar­ing Gothic sanc­tu­ary, with hun­dreds more watch­ing the cer­e­mony, which be­gan min­utes af­ter a heavy rain­storm, on a gi­ant screen out­side.

A sec­tion of pews in the 11th­cen­tury cathe­dral was filled by res­i­dents of Saint-Eti­enne-du-Rou­vray, the nearby in­dus­trial town where the two ji­hadists, both 19, slit Mr Hamel’s throat as he cel­e­brated mass in an at­tack that shocked the coun­try as well as the Catholic Church.

A red stole, sym­bol­is­ing Christ’s mar­tyr­dom, was draped over a gi­ant cross be­side the al­tar, with the Rouen dio­cese say­ing that “Fa­ther Hamel’s death was sim­i­lar to that of Christ, un­justly con­victed and put to death”.

Another red stole was set atop a white priest’s vest­ment ly­ing over Mr Hamel’s cof­fin.

In a show of in­ter-faith sol­i­dar­ity, Mus­lims and Jews were among the mourn­ers. –

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