Anglican Catholic Church

+ RIP Fr Jacques Hamel.

Bishop Mead writes:

"The shock, horror and profound sadness at the many atrocities being committed across the world in the name of the Islamic religion have today, Tuesday 26th July 2016, become acutely focussed in the Parish Church of St.-Étienne-du-Rouvray, a working-class suburb of the Cathedral City of Rouen, France.

Fr Jacques Hamel an 86 year old retired, but still actively ministering, Roman Catholic priest was barbarically slain at the altar and worshippers taken hostage.
Throughout the world there are so many cries going up to heaven, so many prayers being offered.
The murder and suffering of anyone is terrible and makes me sad. The murder of a priest rests especially heavily upon me. For that murder to occur during the celebration of the Mass, when heaven and earth touch, is almost unbearable.

The Vatican spokesman responding to the Martyrdom of Fr Hamel, spoke of a "barbaric killing" and "horrific violence in a church, a sacred place where the love of God is declared".

Fr Jacques Hamel had served as a priest for 58 years. Well loved and respected. A modest man, hard working and full of compassion. I understand from press reports that "Be considerate of others, whoever they are;" were the words he wrote in last month's parish newsletter.

Of course, Fr Hamel isn't the first priest or Christian to lose his life for the sake of Christ. As I write these words many of our brothers and sisters around the world are suffering persecution and oppression.

Fr Hamel died a Martyrs death, singled out because he was a Christian priest.

I have no doubt that the men of violence who perpetrated that act, were strengthened and encouraged by false promises of the 'glory' and 'rewards' that would await them in their religion's vision of 'Paradise'.

If we believe, as we do, that Jesus Christ is " ... the way, the truth, and the life:" and that "no man cometh unto the Father, but by (him)" (John 14:6) then as disciples of the Christ whose faithful priest Fr Hamel had been for 58 years, we must try to rise above the anger, fear and despair of such evil.

The very Sacrament Fr Hamel was celebrating as he was struck down, the most holy Sacrifice of the Mass, speaks to us across the millennia of another barbaric act of violent murder.

The Blood of Christ has, and is, transforming the world. It is only in the supreme suffering and Sacrifice Christ made upon the altar of the Cross that we can find any hope in the darkness of such wickedness. It is only in Christ that we can find the key to resisting and conquering such evil.

As St Matthew writes "... fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." (Matthew 10:28)

Of Jacques Hamel I believe sincerely that;

"His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord." (Matthew 25:21)

I ask you to pray for the victims, those injured, their families and friends AND to pray too for the men and women of violence everywhere that God will bring each to true knowledge and recognition of the evil they do or intend. That they may repent and believe the Gospel of Christ."

Response from the ACC in France

The atrocity in Rouen was only 1 hour from the ACC Chaplaincy of St Mary, Hautot Saint Sulpice.
Our Chaplain, Fr Anthony Chadwick, was deeply shocked by the murder of Fr Jacque Hemel, and joins the movement of sympathy that unites increasing numbers of French people, whether they are Christians, of other religions or non-religious.
He has published two pieces on his blog online relating to this:

"Horror on my own doorstep"

Fr Jacques Hemel, Martyr.