Archbishop of Rouen Responds to Slaying of Priest

Headed back to France from Krakow

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The archbishop of Rouen responded from Krakow to the news of the attack today at the Church of Saint-Etienne du Rouvray, where an 84-year-old priest was taken hostage as he was celebrating Mass and subsequently killed. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Archbishop Dominique Lebrun was in Krakow for World Youth Day; the Pope arrives in Poland tomorrow. The archbishop is headed back to France.
Here is a provisional English translation of the archbishop’s statement.
From Krakow, I have learnt with sadness of the killing this morning at the Church of Saint-Etienne du Rouvray. The three victims: the priest, Father Jacques Hamel, 84, and the authors of the assassination. Three other people were injured, one very seriously. I cry out to God with all men of good will. I would invite non-believers to join in the cry! With the young people at WYD, we pray as we prayed at the tomb of Father Popiulusko in Warsaw, assassinated during the communist regime.
The Vicar General, Father Philippe Maheut, is on location since the beginning. I will be tonight in my diocese with the families and the parish community which is very much in shock. The Catholic Church cannot take weapons other than those of prayer and brotherhood among men. I leave here hundreds of young people who are the future of humanity, the true ones. I ask them not to give in to the violence and become apostles of the civilization of love.
Dominique Lebrun
Archbishop of Rouen
July 26, 2016

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