Bishops counter Rouen attack with promise to build ‘civilization of love’

20160726T1637-0610-CNS-WYD-OPEN-BLONIA-MASS-690x450OXFORD, England- Catholic church leaders have reacted to the slaying by Islamists of an elderly French priest yesterday morning with a call to resist feelings of vengeance and hatred and to help build a civilization of love.

The peculiar horror of the attack, in which two young men attacked Fr Jacques Hamel while the 86-year-old was saying Mass, then made him kneel and slit his throat while chanting in Arabic at the altar, produced a wave of shock and revulsion across the world.

It was also clearly designed to feed deep-seated fears of a religious attack on Christianity itself.

Pope Francis responded not only to express his horror but also, pointedly, to describe it as an act of “absurd violence.” Continue reading