The Pontiff celebrates Mass in honor of Father Jacques Hamel; declares him a martyr.
Pope Francis made a powerful statement during a September 14 homily when he said, “This cruelty that asks for apostasy, is satanic.” The Pope was referring to acts of terrorism, where people killed in the name of God. Pope Francis was recalling the murder of Father Jacques Hamel in France. The Pope has strongly condemned the identification of terrorism with Islam and now says that killing in God's name is a satanic act.
The Pope has called on leaders of all religions to tell their followers that it is Satan's work to kill others in God's name. The homily was delivered during a Mass honoring Father Jacques Hamel in the Domus Santa Marthae Chapel at the Vatican. The Pope has called Father Hamel a “martyr” due to his heroic death at the hands of two youth Adel Kermiche and Abdel-Malik Nabil Petitjean, who stormed the church while he was offering mass and slit his throat. One of the onlookers revealed that the youth performed “some kind of religious rite” before they slit the priest's throat. The priest is reported to have uttered the words “go away Satan,” a phrase that Pope Francis attributes to his holiness.
The Pope said that even in the face of that tragedy, the priest had the wisdom to recognize the real assassin – Satan. The Pope also described Father Hamel as a “gentle, good man of brotherly love.” The Pope also indicated that the priest is on his way to beatification because “he accepted martyrdom at the altar of Christ and gave up his life refusing to deny Christ.” The Pope observed that such individuals should are martyrs, and “martyrs are beatified.”
The sermon also included the Pope's view on martyrdom in the present age. He observed that in today's world there are more martyrs than there were when Christianity began. He added that Christians today are getting their “throats slit, are tortured, jailed or assassinated” due to their refusal to deny Christ. He continued to say that history is being repeated- the first Christians were forced to either continue worshiping Christ and die, or to worship the pagan gods and live- the same as is happening in today's world.
A number of Christians from France attended the Mass. The gathering included the Archbishop of Rouen, Dominique Lebrun, Father Hamel's sister, Cardinal of France Jean-Louis Pierre Tauran and other citizens from