SYDNEY (ChurchMilitant.com) - In his homily during a Mass for the repose of the soul of martyred French priest Fr. Jacques Hamel, whose throat was slit by an Islamic terrorist linked to Daesh, archbishop of Sydney Anthony Fisher had strong words for the attack.
We cannot ignore the fact that it is also a targeted attack on our Christian faith. The two terrorists meant to go into a Catholic church. They meant to kill a priest of Jesus Christ. They meant to take nuns and faithful laity as hostages. They were not just looking for any old building with any old people inside.
In the same homily, the archbishop also stated that Fr. Hamel "died in odium fidei, that is in hatred of the faith."
"This is a term Catholics use to describe the characteristic death of a martyr, as one who dies for his or her faith, and because of that faith," Fisher explained.
The archbishop added,
And the terrorists underlined the meaning of their act by engaging in a ritual sacrifice of the priest before the altar and a mock homily. So their act was not just murder but also sacrilege, desecration, blasphemy. Their motive was not just revenge for the policies of the secular French government, but hatred for the Church and its priests and religious and faithful, even when they are demonstrably friends of Muslims, as Fr Jacques was.
The man who slit the throat of Fr. Hamel — identified as 18-year-old Abdelmalik Petitjean — has been defended as a "good Frenchmen" by his mother, who critics say is in a state of denial.
"He's a good Frenchman," she averred. "He's soft. I know my kid. I know by son. ... He's not at all the monster that people want us to believe."
Jihad Watch's Christine Williams said that the mother's comments "indicate the capability of jihadist doctrine to foster in its adherents a bloodthirsty fanaticism and religious zeal that was unrecognizable even to a mother."
Muslim terrorism has been rising to new heights since June. Heavy.com reports that ISIS has attacked countries other than Iraq and Syria one out of every four days since June 8, some dubbing it the "summer of terror."
Masses are being said for the repose of the soul of Fr. Jacques Hamel, and the French Bishops have declared Friday a day of prayer and fasting.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, archbishop of Westminster, has had a much different take on the situation. In response to the attack, he tweeted a message saying he prays with Muslim leaders "for courage."
Likeminded Cdl. Andre Vingt-Trois of Paris has said that Catholics around the world should "overcome hatred" and should not join "the game" that ISIS is playing, which sets "children of the same family in opposition to each other."
On BBC Radio 4's "Today" show, when Fr. Christopher Jamison was asked about possible Catholic Church security measures, he argued against the idea. Father said that because of the Year of Mercy, "Doors of Mercy have been erected to show anyone can walk through this door and know that God's love is present, and that is the attitude we must maintain."