Pope says murdered French priest a martyr, on road to sainthood

By REUTERS
September 15, 2016 17:26

 
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VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis said on Wednesday the French priest knifed to death at his altar by Islamist militants in July was a martyr, and indicated that Father Jacques Hamel was already on the road to sainthood.

Francis spoke at a special Mass for pilgrims from the Rouen area of France where two attackers stormed into the church in Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray, forced the 85-year-old Hamel to his knees and slit his throat while they chanted in Arabic.

In his Italian-language sermon, Francis also called on all religions to declare that "killing in the name of God is Satanic".

Francis used the words martyr or martyrdom 10 times during his homily in the chapel of the guest house where he lives in the Vatican.

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