Murdered French priest's sister makes plea for peace at funeral

Murdered French priest's sister makes plea for peace at funeral

The sister of a French priest murdered by extremists has appealed at his funeral for all faiths to work together for peace.

"Let's learn to live together, let's be workers for peace," Roselyne Hamel told an estimated 1,700 people gathered in Rouen cathedral in western France for the funeral Mass of her brother, Father Jacques Hamel.

The 85-year-old priest was murdered last week at a church in the nearby town of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray.

Interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve was among those attending the Mass in the Gothic cathedral, which dates from the 12th century.

Hundreds of people watched the ceremony on a big screen outside the cathedral, under constant rain.

Archbishop Dominique Lebrun, celebrating the Mass, extended thanks to Catholics attending the service but also to "believers of other religious faiths, in particular the Jewish community and the Muslim community, very affected and already decided to unite for: Never again".

Archbishop Lebrun invited people to return to churches on August 15, the day celebrating the Assumption of Mary, to express that "violence will not take over in their hearts".

On Sunday, dozens of Muslims in France and Italy attended Catholic Masses as a gesture of interfaith solidarity following the attack on the priest.

Murdered French priest's sister makes plea for peace at funeral

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack, in which the priest, two nuns and an elderly couple were held hostage before the assailants slashed the priest's throat and seriously wounded the other man. Another nun at the Mass slipped away and raised the alarm, and police shot dead both attackers as they left the church.

Today's ceremony was organised under tight security, and burial was to be held privately.

More in this Section

Spain on edge after two days of violent protests in CataloniaSpain on edge after two days of violent protests in Catalonia

Nasa says new spacesuits for moonwalking will consign bunny hops to historyNasa says new spacesuits for moonwalking will consign bunny hops to history

Brexit Secretary confirms Johnson would request Brexit delay if no deal is in placeBrexit Secretary confirms Johnson would request Brexit delay if no deal is in place

Warmer spring evenings causing birds to breed earlier, research findsWarmer spring evenings causing birds to breed earlier, research finds


Lifestyle

We know porridge is one of the best ways to start the day but being virtuous day in, day out can be boring.The Shape I'm In: Food blogger Indy Power

Sheila O’Flanagan can’t pin down an exact number of books she has written.First lady of fiction: Sheila O'Flanagan is happy to be accessible

This might not be the most entertaining topic but it is that time of year when colds, flus and nasty bugs enter classrooms and homes.Mum's the Word: Top tips for keeping nasty bugs and illnesses at bay

Laura Whalen is a Munster-based dollmaker and mother-of-five, and the founder of the Bábóg project, a community crafting drive to make a commemorative doll for all the babies born in Irish mother and baby homes.Made in Munster: Meet the West Cork dollmaker who uses bio-degradable materials for her craft

More From The Irish Examiner