Pope Frances has urged all the religious leaders to convey a clear message to their followers that killing carried out in the name of God is “satanic.” On Wednesday, September 14 the Pontiff while addressing the audience at a ceremony in the Vatican’s Domus Santa Marthae chapel said: “Killing in the name of God is satanic. I would like it if all religions said this, ‘To kill in the name of God is satanic.'”
The pontiff was paying homage to the 85-year-old French priest who was slain by the ISIS terrorists previously in July. He declared slain Father Jacques Hamel to be a Christian “martyr,” although he did not officially canonized him.
He further extended his reflections on Christian martyrdom; he said that in recent times there are “more Christian martyrs” than in the early days of Christianity. “Today there are Christians murdered, tortured, imprisoned, slaughtered because they do not deny Jesus Christ,” he said. He further added that Father Jacques Hamel “is part of this chain of martyrs.”
“Christians who suffer today because they will not deny Jesus Christ—whether in prison or by death or torture—they show how cruel this persecution is. And this cruelty that demands apostasy—we say the word—is Satanic.”
While further paying homage to the slain priest he said that Father Jacques Hamel “was slain on the Cross,” Francis said, “just as he celebrated the sacrifice of the Cross of Christ.” He was a humble man, who was constantly pursuing peace, “was assassinated as if he were a criminal. This is the thread of Satanic persecution.”
On July 26, two terrorists stormed the church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray and took six people hostage. The hostages included Father Hamel, three nuns and an elderly couple. In line with the one of the nuns taken hostage the terrorists forced Father Hamel to his knees and slit his throat.