New York Times columnist Ross Douthat offer a moving tribute Tuesday to Fr. Jacques Hamel, an 86 year old French priest slain in a brutal ISIS-inspired knife attack.
Fr. Hamel was saying mass at a Catholic church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray near Rouen, France when two Islamists stormed the altar armed with knives to deliver a hateful tirade before savagely beheading the aging cleric. Another worshipper, a nun, was taken to a nearby hospital and remains in critical condition. French authorities shot the Islamists dead when they emerged from the church.
Douthat’s elegy was animated by the convulsive serpentines of modern French history, which led led Fr. Hamel through the Second Vatican Council and decolonization to his death at the hands of jihadi fanaticism in a quiet country church.
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