Mur­der in God’s name ‘sa­tanic’, says the pope

The Myanmar Times - - World -

POPE Fran­cis yes­ter­day de­nounced killing in God’s name as “sa­tanic” as he held a mass to hon­our Jac­ques Hamel, the French priest whose throat was slit by ji­hadists in July.

“Killing in God’s name is sa­tanic,” he said in his ad­dress which was at­tended by around 80 pil­grims from the north­ern French dio­cese of Rouen where the at­tack took place.

“He was a mar­tyr,” he said of Mr Hamel, de­scrib­ing him as a “good, gen­tle man” who had been killed “like a crim­i­nal”.

“How good it would be if all re­li­gious con­fes­sions de­clared that killing in the name of God was sa­tanic.”

The el­derly priest was killed on July 26 while pre­sid­ing over a mass in Saint-Eti­enne-du-Rou­vray.

“This cru­elty which de­mands apos­tasy is, let us say it, sa­tanic,” the pope said. “Apos­tasy is the re­nun­ci­a­tion of one’s re­li­gious be­liefs.”

The pope’s early ser­vice yes­ter­day was held in the chapel at St Martha’s, the board­ing house where he stays and where a photo of the late priest was set upon the al­tar.

Ear­lier this month, the pope met with French Pres­i­dent Fran­cois Hol­lande over the at­tack, and on Septem­ber 24, he will meet rel­a­tives of the 86 peo­ple killed in a ji­hadist truck at­tack in the Riviera re­sort of Nice on July 14. –

Photo: AFP

Pope Fran­cis kisses a baby at Saint Peter’s Square as he ar­rives to lead his weekly gen­eral au­di­ence in the Vat­i­can yes­ter­day.

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