Two terrorists pledging loyalty to the Islamic State took a church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray hostage and executed an elderly priest offering Mass.
BY ANN SCHNEIBLE/CNA/EWTN NEWS 07/26/2016
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has decried the “absurd violence” which left anelderly priest dead after his church in northern France was taken hostage during Mass.
A statement released Tuesday by the Vatican said the Pope, having been informed of the situation, “participates in the pain and horror of this absurd violence,” while radically condemning “every form of hatred.”
The statement said the Holy Father is praying for those affected by the tragedy, which took place in the Normandy region, adding that the Vatican is following the situation.
Father Jacques Hamel, 84, was killed Tuesday after two armed gunmen stormed a church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray during Mass, the BBC reports. The assailants entered the church, shouting “Daesh” (also known as the Islamic State group or ISIS) and took the celebrating priest and four others hostage. The ISIS-linked Amaq news agency claimed the assailants were “two soldiers of the Islamic State.”