Monday 18 December 2017

Pope comforts sister of French priest slain by terrorists

Pope Francis arrives at the Basilica of St Bartholomew in Rome (AP)
Pope Francis arrives at the Basilica of St Bartholomew in Rome (AP)

Pope Francis has comforted the sister of an elderly French priest who was slain by Islamic militants as the pontiff paid tribute to the courage of modern-day Christian martyrs.

Francis gripped the hands of Roselyne Hamel, whose brother, Rev Jacques Hamel, 85, died when his throat was slit as he celebrated Mass in a church in Normandy on July 26 last year.

Francis spoke with Ms Hamel during a service Saturday evening in St Bartholomew Basilica on Tiber Island in Rome.

He had just heard her tell fellow faithful in the church that her brother was killed by "two youths radicalised by a discourse of hate".

In his homily, Francis also hailed the suffering of refugees, lamenting that "international accords seem more important than human rights".

Press Association

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