Murder in God’s name ‘satanic’, says the pope
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. –
Pope Francis kisses a baby at Saint Peter’s Square as he arrives to lead his weekly general audience in the Vatican yesterday.