At Father Hamel's funeral, Rouen archbishop urges forgiveness

IMAGE: CNS photo/Jacky Naegelen, Reuters


ROUEN, France (CNS) — During the Aug. 2 funeral Mass for
Father Jacques Hamel, killed a week earlier by men claiming allegiance to the
Islamic State, Archbishop Dominique Lebrun of Rouen stressed the need for

brutal and unfair and horrible as (Father) Jacques’ death was, we have to look
deep into our hearts to find the light,” he told the congregation of more
than 1,500 at the Notre Dame Cathedral, while hundreds more watched the
ceremony on a big screen outside in the rain.

In his
homily, the archbishop said the beloved 85-year-old parish priest tried to push
away his attackers with his feet, saying “go away, Satan” twice.

those words, the archbishop said the priest expressed “faith in the
goodness of humans that the devil put his claws in.”

Hamel, the priest’s sister, urged the congregation to “learn to live
together” and be “workers for peace.”

archbishop thanked everyone, including “believers of
other religious faiths, in particular the Jewish community and the Muslim
community,” for attending the Mass.

He also
urged the congregation to go to their churches on Aug. 15, feast of the Assumption
of Mary, to pray for an end to violence.

Hamel’s burial after the Mass was private.

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