Krakow, Poland, Jul 26, 2016 / 03:43 pm – In response to the Priest killed of Father Jacques Hamel by believed Islamic State sympathizers, the French bishops have designated Friday, July 29, as a day of fasting.
Msgr. Olivier Ribadeau Dumas, secretary general of the French Bishops Conference, discussed the decision July 26.
“What happened in France had happened in other countries before, and actually we see Christians laying down their lives in the interests of their faith,” he told journalists gathered in Krakow for World Youth Day.
“They die because they are objects of hate and this for a fact gives us an additional motivation to live the life of fraternity we are called to.”
Earlier in the day, two armed gunmen stormed a church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray in the Normandy region. The assailants entered the church during Mass and took the priest and four others hostage.Police sources said the 86-year-old priest’s throat was slit in the attack. Both of the assailants were shot dead by police. One of the hostages was critically wounded.
ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack( Priest killed ), and one of the attackers has been identified as a 19-year-old man who was under house arrest with a tracking bracelet after being caught attempting to travel to Syria.The murder comes on the tail of numerous attacks in recent weeks.
Saying the attackers were terrorists, Msgr. Dumas stressed that in the midst of shock and sadness following the attack about Priest killed , Christians must not let evil and violence dominate.
“A priest is a symbol of peace and fraternity, and he was an old priest, more than 50 years as a priest in France, so tonight we are sad and we are shocked by this,” the priest acknowledged.
“But we are also something which is very strong. We want to maintain and develop dialogue between the different people in our country. We need peace, we need fraternity, we need to build a society where people love each other, and we will continue this path,” he said. “The Catholic Church in France wants that.”
World Youth Day, which officially begins today, offers a special chance for reflection, he added: “We should see the horizon, the horizon of peace, of joy, brotherhood and prayer. We are rooted in our faith and in Christ and we believe that evil and violence will not have the upper hand.”
According to Msgr Dumas, the French contingent at World Youth Day received the news with sadness. About 300 youth are from the Diocese of Rouen, out of 3,000 French pilgrims total at the international gathering this week.