ISIS murders priest during Mass. R.I.P. Père Jacques Hamel. My comments.

Père Jacques HamelDearest Father Jacques, remember us down here as you enter eternal life. Thank you for your priesthood in Christ Jesus. Thank you for laying down your life even as you offered Holy Mass. Just… thank you.

=== Let’s analyse this, shall we? Let’s use the FOX story as a base. We’ll add some comments of the Holy See. My emphases and [comments].

Two attackers reportedly shouted “Allahu Akbar” before slitting the throat of an 84-year-old priest and critically injuring at least one other person [an eldery nun] during a Tuesday morning terror attack on a church near the Normandy city of Rouen, officials said.

The terrorists, who French President Francois Hollande said had pledged their allegiance to ISIS, were later shot and killed by police.

The priest, identified by Sky News as Jacques Hamel, was dead at the scene, and another person, possibly a nun, was clinging to life, Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said.

The killing Tuesday inside the church, in the small northwestern town of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, “is obviously a drama for the Catholic community, for the Christian community,” Brandet told reporters. [Just “for the Catholic community, for the Christian community,” and not all people of good will? Wow. No. This kind of word-play is how it all gets much worse much more quickly. This is a supremely stupid move of Brandet. Perhaps he thought he was being nice, but, no. Watch for the liberal media to follow his example, you know, just sectarian violence or workplace violence in which surely Father Jacques was at least partly to blame, you know, just because…]

The attackers were not immediately identified. [Actually, they were. They had already tried to enter Syria to fight for ISIS. They were wearing electronic ankle GPS locators. The alarms should have been screaming away in police stations all around, but suicide terrorists don’t care if they are followed and killed after they’ve done their dirty work. They want to die. Does no one, after tens of thousands of incidents counting just since 9-11, perceive any of this? (Correction! No alarms since they turn the alarms off on purpose so that they can get in a morning’s terrorism while not being tracked!)] Police said the pair entered through the back door of the church and took the priest, two nuns and two parishioners hostage during morning Mass. [The priest was immediately beheaded. The word “hostage” is incorrect. They are not immediately killed in order to torture them in horrific ways and let the media scene play up outside. Remember the Paris attack in the theater? They neglected to tell us of the horrific tortures, eye-gouging, eviscerating, dismembering, etc. The captives are not hostages. They are there to set an example.]

Police responded and later confirmed that the attackers had been “neutralized,” Sky News reported. Three hostages were rescued in good condition, while another was taken away on a stretcher, according to reports. [And other reports say that the motive is not clear. What? Really?]

=== Now, let’s see what the Cardinal Secretary of State of the Holy See has to say:

[…] Le Saint-Père est particulièrement bouleversé par cet acte de violence qui s’est déroulé dans une église au cours d’une messe, action liturgique qui implore de Dieu sa paix pour le monde. Il demande au Seigneur d’inspirer à tous des pensées de réconciliation et de fraternité dans cette nouvelle épreuve et de répandre sur chacun l’abondance de ses Bénédictions.

In my translation (skipping the expected bit about solidarity in grief): The Holy Father is particularly upset by this act of violence that took place in a church during a Mass, a liturgy which implores God’s peace for the world. He asked the Lord to inspire all with thoughts of reconciliation and fraternity in the face of this new trial and to spread on each of the abundance of His blessings.

So, nothing from the Secretary about ISIS or Islamist fear mongering. Nothing. Just a complaint about the place and time. I mean, is anyone really shocked that ISIS has no pious devotion for the Mass? Do we really expect ISIS to kneel at the altar rail, wait until Mass is over, and then behead the priest? And that makes it all better? I’d like to see the Cardinal just go ahead and condemn ISIS (which immediately claimed responsibility, by the way). In fact, I’d like to see him be a signatory of the Regensburg address of Pope Benedict XVI.

=== Now, my own comment: If ISIS thinks that they are spreading fear and terror by this, it’s certainly not working on me. Perhaps that’s a tactical fault of mine, but fear is not any kind of great motivator for me. A desire to make a positive contribution to the virtue of justice in the proper self-defense of self or others in the face of unjust aggression is a source of motivation. And that, I think, is consonant with the Lord inspiring all with thoughts of reconciliation and fraternity even as He spreads on each the abundance of His blessings. Self defense for self or others is a part of those blessings as well.

Again, I wish it were not this way. I wish Father Jacques Hamel had not been beheaded. I wish the Sister had not been grievously wounded. I with the others hadn’t been taken hostage. I wish all people would kneel before our Lord and Savior, accepting redemption and salvation. I wish, in fact, that we were already in heaven. Wouldn’t that be great?

But, to be frank about it, had I been in the sacristy during Mass, say, collecting old Mass vestments and altar cards with the permission of the good priest, and the ISIS crowd had come in that back door next to me wielding their knives and shouting Alahu Akbar and starting in on their attack, I would not have let the attack proceed. I mean, no hesitation about “Oh, let’s wait just a minute and let’s see if we can alert the media about sound bites of setting up encounters of dialogue with multi-cultural participants so that we can be perceived as being heroic men of consensus,” or something like that. In that amount of time, the good priest’s head would already be balanced on top of the chalice, right? So, instead, in a nanosecond, my CCW would already have been drawn and the “neutralizing” would already have been accomplished.

We live in a violent world. And the Mass is a most violent place already: it is Calvary where being tortured to death is the order of day, of that hour, when all hell is broken out, when Christ claims victory by not giving in right to the end (and then rising from the dead). Is it bad and evil to defend priest and people at Mass? No, it is not bad and evil. It is good. Our Lord is our Redeemer, not any priest or any parishioner. We are mere sheep, all of us.

Meanwhile, two things today, my “day off”:

(1) As soon as I click “Publish” for this post, I will be offering Holy Mass for those involved in this and in all recent terrorist incidents both oversees and here in these United States.

(2) I’m going to go and kill some paper targets, which I haven’t done for a full week. A friend says I need to start working on muscle memory. Meanwhile, Aliengear holsters (IWB and OWB) came in yesterday afternoon. I may need to adjust them for ease of use. For now, I can only use the OWB as I haven’t taken the CCW course yet (outside of acing the qualification test).

And, yes, I know. I still have to write something about the why of guns and priests. Patience!

P.S. Please don’t think that I am devoid of knowing something of the Mystical Body of Christ. I know that when Jesus, Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception, lays down His life he is also laying down our lives with His, especially His priests – as the Master so the disciple – especially when we offer the Holy Sacrifice and say His wedding vows to His Bride the Church: This is my body given for you, my blood poured out for you in sacrifice. Yes, I know. And Father Jacques is a hero for me. When I say the consecrations I am aghast at the torture and death; when I say the consecrations I am in awe of Jesus as I then kneel beneath the weight of the glory of His love; when I say the consecrations I tremble and find it difficult to move on to the rest of Mass, wanting to continue to stand there, beneath the Cross. But, more on this later. Now, it’s time to offer Mass for Father Jacques and the others. Accompany me, if you would, with a Hail Mary for the eternal repose of his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed. Hail Mary…


Filed under Guns, Priesthood, Terrorism, Vocations

20 responses to “ISIS murders priest during Mass. R.I.P. Père Jacques Hamel. My comments.

  1. James Anderson

    I have added Fr. and the nun to my prayer list.

  2. sanfelipe007

    ” So, instead, in a nanosecond, my CCW would already have been drawn and the “neutralizing” would already have been accomplished.”

    And then the news cycle would be about the hatred of the Catholic priest (taken into custody) who murdered two wonderful peaceful Muslims. And MSM pundits would be questioning the wisdom of armed Catholic clerics and why it contributed to the violence against Islam. While certain members of the Church would express regret for the Priest taking the law into his own hands.

    I am as serious as cancer.

    • Father George David Byers

      I had actually written all of that myself, but I erased it in favor of readership participation! I know all that. I don’t care. The law is the law. NRA has good attorneys. Doing the right thing is still necessary.

    • Father George David Byers

      Love is stronger than death. Stronger than prison.

  3. I too have added Fr and the elderly nun to my prayer list.

  4. Stephen.Round.

    I join you in the Hail Mary. I have been critical of yourself and Priests carrying. In light of this event if the criticisms reached you I withdraw them. [[As Father Gordon and Charlene can testify, there are those who, for whatever reason, are sometimes unable to leave a comment. This has been a mystery for years. Also, some good, that is, real comments end up in spam. I extremely rarely check the spam, but there I have caught some to the point comments in there, but they are deleted after 30 days automatically. Then there is the block list, so that if someone does something like threaten my life in a comment, I’ll take part of their IP address and put it on the list, the problem being is that this can automatically delete others who have the some weird combination of characters. Etc.]] As to Priests carrying I now concur. Carry- Practice and use as needed. No further justification needed as to priests and guns not to me. I am sickened by this event. I myself am not easily intimidated. I do not carry. I believe we north of your border need to reassess our attitudes as to personel weapons as outer culture becomes more aggressive. No longer do we live in Mayberry. I like your new gun. I am envious.

  5. sanfelipe007

    Oh Father, I was not criticizing. I would hope to do exactly the same thing. I was merely expressing my jaded opinion of the MSM.
    “Love is stronger than death. Stronger than prison.”

  6. I am sure those people in that church at Rouen would have welcomed you with your CCW. I really think they would have – until the moment when Jesus personally welcomed them at the gate and escorted them into Heaven.

  7. Question: Would it be inappropriate to ask Pere Jacques Hamel to pray for us? Would not he be a martyr for the faith and as such a saint already? I have added him to my prayer list BTW.

  8. This is an extremely sad event, a priest murdered in Church and the violence towards the others. Certainly prayers. Like you, I also noticed the lack of media coverage. I also have not heard any comments from my elected officials, though the French presidents comments were heartfelt. Sad.

  9. sanfelipe007

    Father Hamel is, indeed in Heaven. And speaking of “Saints”, we are half-way through our 54-day Rosary for Father Gordon. It is right, always and everywhere to give God thanks and praise.

  10. Monica Harris

    Can sheep have a hierarchy? If so, can we nominate head sheep-person?

  11. Thank you for a powerful article, Father! I know several priests who are expert marksmen; one of them taught me to shoot a .357 when I was being shot at after a car accident. Another priest bought the gun for me. All I had to do was wave it at an armed driver & he sped away. Never had to use it–yet. The shepherd is to protect & feed his sheep. Doing concealed carry seems very necessary in this day & age! Thank you for your courage & example of faith, Father!

  12. Pam

    I have no problem with priests carrying, or members of congregations carrying either, as long as they have gone through the proper procedures to qualify for and obtain their permits. There is every reason to believe jihadists will carry out more attacks on churches or synagogues, butchering ministers, priests or congregants, and these people have no problem murdering children either. Those Catholics who went to Mass yesterday had absolutely no idea what was getting ready to happen. We always think it can’t happen to us….until it does. What are we expected to do if it comes to one of our parishes – go up and offer our throats to be cut, in the name of ecumenical peace and love? Would any parent be ok with just sitting there, basically defenseless, if crazy fanatics with guns, knives or machetes burst in and went for their child? Any priest or parishoner in a situation like that who had a concealed weapon and could protect and save others by shooting to kill if necessary would certainly have my gratitude. In this world today, with these very real dangers and threats, we need to use our brains and common sense. I know of at least some Protestant churches, supposedly gun-free zones, where members of congregations quietly and discreetly carry weapons into the services anyway, and I say good for them. I think some of the pastors know who these individuals are and are happy to just keep quiet about it. These types of people aren’t trigger-happy Rambos.

    That political leaders and media are covering up the full extent of the savagery is abominable. It’s obvious, watching all the political and even law enforcement officials’ reactions in Europe, how they try to manipulate with words and don’t tell the whole truth to their own citizens. The same political and media manipulation goes on right here in this country.

  13. One of the nuns who taught me, Sr. Mary Clairvaux, once said something that stuck with me. She said when someone dies you no longer have to pray FOR them. You pray TO them.
    Such is the case of Father Hamel. France has many saints. This priest who was martyred is now a Saint as far as I’m concerned. May he lovingly rest with God, the Saints and the Angels.
    Father Hamel, I pray to you to help me and guide me.

  14. Father, does anyone know during what part of the Mass Fr. Hamel was murdered? I would be so consoled to know if he had already completed the Consecration or not (being that Christ was present on the altar, or if they had already communicated, He was present in them.)

  15. Monica Harris

    according to sun article 2 days ago, an unidentified woman interviewed said that “Jacques had just finished celebrating Mass”–which seems to match 9 AM mass, 9:45 the whole thing happened? don’t think the final précis is in though….

  16. monicaharris58

    upon further research, the BBC video was of Sister Danielle, I heard translated to English version.

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