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Catholic priest murdered in France by man who set fire to cathedral



Zelda Caldwell - published on 08/09/21

The 60-year-old priest had reportedly hosted the Rwandan refugee for the last year.

A priest was found murdered in Vendée, France after a man turned himself into police confessing to the crime, reported AFP.

Fr. Olivier Maire was the provincial superior of the Montfort Missionaries, located in Saint-Laurent-sur-Sèvre in western France.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin announced on news on Twitter on Monday.

“All my support for the Catholics of our country after the dramatic murder of a priest in Vendée. I’m going there,” he wrote.

The suspect was reportedly Emmanuel Abayisenga, a Rwandan refugee who arrived in France in 2012. He walked into a police station on Monday morning claiming to have killed the 60-year old priest. Police later discovered a corpse at the scene.

Abayisenga is the same person charged with setting fire to the Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul cathedral in Nantes on July 18, 2020. He had worked at the cathedral as a warden, and was responsible for locking it up at the end of the day.

Charged with “destruction and damage by fire,” Abayisenga reportedly was later released from prison and moved to Saint-Laurent-sur-Sèvre where the murdered priest had hosted him in his Montfortian community since last year.

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