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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

The Archbishop of Rouen urges forgiveness at the funeral of Fr Jacques Hamel

During yesterday’s funeral Mass for Fr Jacques Hamel, killed a week earlier by men claiming allegiance to Daesh, the Archbishop of Rouen, Dominique Lebrun, stressed the need for forgiveness.

“As brutal and unfair and horrible as (Fr) 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 parish priest tried to push away his attackers with his feet, saying “go away, Satan” twice.

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

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

The 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 15th August, the feast of the Assumption of Mary, to pray for an end to violence.

Fr Hamel’s burial after the Mass was private.

Picture: Religious officials sit during the funeral mass for Father Jacques Hamel at Rouen cathedral, Normandy on Tuesday 2nd August 2016. Fr Jacques Hamel was killed by two Islamic extremists last week in the nearby town of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray. Daesh claimed responsibility for the attack. (Charly Triballeau, Pool via AP).