His Eminence André Cardinal Vingt-Trois, Archbishop of Paris, Chairman of the Bishops’ Conference of France
With a sense of deep sorrow, we received the news of the terrible crime in a Catholic church in Rouen… a terakt* during liturgy, which led to a hostage situation and to the killing of Priest Jacques Hamel. This heinous crime occurred in the Holy Place. It was striking in its inhuman cruelty; it violated every moral norm. It doesn’t and can’t have any justification. I express my sincere condolences to you, to the clergy and faithful of the Roman Catholic Church in France, and to the relatives, friends, and spiritual children of the murdered pastor. May God, who so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life (Gospel according to St John 3.16), give rest to the soul of His servant in the mansions of heaven, give comfort and support to the victims, and give peace and blessing to the French people.
- Terakt: Russian acronym for “terrorist action”
With love in the Lord,
Patriarch of Moscow and all the Russias
26 July 2016
MP Official Website
When a Christian or group of Christians dies because they trust that Christ is the faithful revelation of God and of a new humanity, their death is not like Obi-Wan Kenobi’s last words to Darth Vader, “Strike me down and I’ll become more powerful than you could imagine”. Resurrection isn’t about returning to fight worldly means of power with the powers known to this world. No… as the Body of Christ, our death is like the death of Jesus, a great humility accepted voluntarily for the life of the world… with all kinds of conflicting human emotions. “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends”… even friends that at the moment look a lot like enemies. Our hope (and our vindication) isn’t in a resurrection that makes us more powerful than our temporal enemies, but a resurrection to eternal life… a great victory for ALL persons over the enemies of all whom God has made in His image, all whom God cherishes… every last human-being. Those enemies are sin, famine, disease, pestilence, sword, decay, calamities, death, and the Accuser. If we’re in Christ, our enemies are no longer our human brothers and sisters.
26 July 2016
A witness of Christ, Fr Jacques Hamel, martyr. Pray for his soul, his witness, for Christians throughout the world suffering persecution.
26 July 2016
Archbishop of Boston (Roman Catholic)
You can say what you will about Cardinal Seán… he walks the walk when it comes to aiding the poor and needy (a good Orthodox analogue would be Bishop Panteleimon Shatov). This Sunday, light a candle when you go to liturgy and say a private prayer for the repose of Fr Jacques… priests can say a private prayer as they do the Proskomidi. The canons allow this. We’re Christians… that’s what we do.
Look at HH… he shows us the way. ‘Nuff said…