Hamel: killed by Islamists, manipulated by leftist Catholics

Only leftists could take the murder of a priest at the altar and turn it into a song of praise for Islamists.

Giulio Meotti

OpEds giulio meott
giulio meott
צילום: עצמי

It was easy, too easy, to turn (see the movie “Of Gods and Men”) the story of the seven slaughtered Algerian monks of Tibhirine, decapitated by Algerian rebel Muslims in 1996, into a tribute to irenicism and multicultural brotherhood. The history of Algeria in the ‘90s says the contrary. It is the story of a war to cleanse the last remnants of Christendom from North Africa.

Now a book turns even Father Jacques Hamel, murdered by an Islamist commando last July in a small French church, into a symbol of the interfaith dialogue. The book is titled “Martyr, vie et mort du père Jacques Hamel” (with a preface of the former Italian minister Andrea Riccardi) and written by the Belgian journalist and theologian Jan De Volder, a professor of “Religions and Peace” at the Catholic University of Leuven, a member of the secular community Sant’Egidio and involved in inter-religious dialogue.

In the book, everything is carefully recounted, minute by minute, the arrival during the Catholic Mass of a young man, the theological discussion with sister Huguette, the violent clash between father Jacques and his Islamist murderers, the brief resistance of the man of cloth, the fatal stabbing. and most of the conversation that followed between the jihadists and the elderly sisters, while two bodies were on the ground, that of the priest and that of an elderly parishioner, while terrorists spoke of Jesus, the Koran, the fear of death.

Jan De Volder gives us the image of “a humble priest, uncomfortable in this world.” It recounts that, at the end of the ‘60s, “Jacques Hamel was following the debate at the Vatican II that abandons the wealth that he abhors”. He should have become a French army officer, Father Hamel, but he rejected that to such a degree in the name of “refusal to instruct men to kill other men”.

A life, that of Hamel, described “as a path of humility, marked by discoveries and wounds.” He was a major player in the Rouen Intercommunity Association for Peace (Acrip) and that supported the “alternative” Catholic wing of the French church headed by Archbishop Joseph Duval, opponent of Jean-Marie Cardinal Lustiger. “Instead of focusing on ethical issues and the cultural battle of values, Duval tries to build a Christian community that interacts with the community,” Volder writes in the book.

The titles of the book's chapters tell it all: “The new theology”, “Meeting with the Islamic community”, “Living together.” Wherever he goes, Hamel is characterized as “a star of the Islamic-Christian dialogue.”  He is a priest who took part in the Islamic feast of Aid al Fitr. “In March 2013, Father Hamel welcomes the election of Pope Francio”, writes Jan De Volder. “The new Pope’s style, his simplicity, his choice to abandon the papal palace, gratify him. A pope who showed an interest for the poor and the refugees.”

Religious freedom is oppressed in Muslim countries by the same people who demand freedom of worship for themselves in France. There is no reciprocity in this crazy multiculturalism.
The ideological approach of Jan De Volder then becomes grotesque: “Father Jacques remains convinced that only the dialogue with the Muslim world can keep the peace. After the attacks on Charlie Hebdo, in January 2015, he intensified the Islamo-Christian encounters.”

We will never know how Father Hamel would have judged the first assassination of a Catholic priest on European soil since World War II. But what we know about Jan De Volder is that he wants to build a figure, noble and unorthodox, who fights “the stigmatization of the Muslim community”, with much praise for the local Salafist Yahia Mosque, attended by those who slew Father Hamel.

We know that Hamel was a Christian Catholic priest. We know that he was killed in the name of Allah. Unfortunately, we know too much. For example, we know that the priest is not the only victim of Islamist hate, that religious freedom is oppressed in Muslim countries by the very same people who demand freedom of worship for themselves in France. There is no reciprocity in this crazy multiculturalism.

Europe finances the construction of mosques, while Muslims banish the public expression of worship and send gunmen to slaughter priests in front of an altar. But hatred in the name of Islam never emerges from Jan De Volder’s pages, who deletes that terrible truth from Hamel’s martyrdom in Saint-Etienne- du-Rouvray.