A sign of hopein France:
The first priest to be ordained in the Rouen diocese since Father Jacques Hamel’s death will most likely be Julien Hamel, who was ordained a deacon on, July 2. Hs last name, identical to that of elderly priest murdered at his altar last summer, echoes like a beautiful symbol. There is no family relationship between 25 year-old Julien Hamel and Father Jacques Hamel, the elderly priest martyred on July 26, 2016, at age 86. Hamel is a common name in Normandy, but Julien was of course deeply affected by the news of the death of the diocesan priest — by the shocking disproportion between the violence of the aggressors and the frailty of an elderly man, and the absurdity in massacring in the name of the “holy war” an unarmed “enemy,” who was saying mass for four defenseless people. There is no question, however, of changing a priest’s life: “We will continue to say masses on weekdays; anyway the risk is everywhere,” consents Julien Hamel.