More than two months after the spectacular attack jihadist, during which the elderly priest Jacques Hamel had perished slain, the church of Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray, in the suburbs of Rouen, reopens its doors Sunday afternoon during a ceremony charged with emotion, and symbols.
For the catholic Church, the desecration of a place of worship must be “repaired”. A fortiori when it is a murder. “The parish has lost one of its pastors, his church has been defiled, an offense against God has been committed, and he belongs to me (…) to reopen the church as is expected whenever there is a desecration”, has explained to the press the archbishop of Rouen Archbishop Dominique Lebrun.
It will proceed to a penitential rite of reparation, followed by a mass.
“The rite is to +wash+ the church in the sprinkling of holy water”, explained the archbishop. The holy water will be poured on the ground at the foot of the altar where he was slain, the father Hamel by two jihadists, Adel Kermiche, a Stéphanais, and Abdel-Malik, Petitjean, who came from Savoy.
The holy water will be sprinkled also on the objects of worship desecrated by the two men: on the altar, where they took dozens of shots of the knife, on a large Christ on the cross that they have unsealed from the wall, on the great Easter candle broken and on the string of a Virgin, that they have removed.
After the penitential rite, Monsignor Lebrun, surrounded including the parish priest of Augustus Moanda-Phuati, the vicar general of the diocese Philippe Maheut and the other priests of the neighbouring parishes, to celebrate holy mass.
Before entering the church, bearing the heavy cross unsealed, it will be led, from 15: 30 a procession of about 500 meters which will begin in the courtyard of the rectory, not far from the Hotel de Ville.
-”there will be other timelines” -
mayor Hubert Wulfranc (PCF) and the archbishop were to take the floor before the ceremony.
“This is a new step of healing, of recovery,” said the mayor to the press.
“there will be other deadlines”, he added, with the intention of exploiting the archives of the commune by historians because of the multitude of messages received from around the world, as well as the erection of a monument to the memory of the priest.
hundreds of people are expected to attend the ceremony. The church with less than 300 places, all the inhabitants who have failed to enter into the church will follow the ceremony outside on a giant screen.
many muslims should join the crowd, outside the church. A call in this direction has been launched at the Friday prayers in the mosque stéphanaise Yahya, which is located on the heights of the city, right next to the other church of the city, Sainte-Therese.
Believers of all faiths or non-believers, all Stéphanais have been strongly marked by the drama. So much so that the good agreement exists between the different communities.
The small church of St. Etienne, dating from the Sixteenth century, will be kept closed to the faithful exactly 68 days after the attack.
It has recently suffered some small work and a great cleaning.
on The 26th of July, around 9: 30 in the morning, father Jacques Hamel, 85 years old, had just completed his mass to only five people, three nuns and a couple of octogenarians, when arose the two jihadists of 19 years in full battle dress. Their only weapons real were knives.
The father will be slain, the man of the couple, Guy Coponet, will be stabbed, left for dead, but survive miraculously. The four women spared and taken hostage, will remain traumatized for life by this attack, as brutal as unique, perpetrated in the name of the islamic State.
The attack of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray is the latest suffered by France, the fifth since January 2015.Two people have been indicted in the investigation into the killing of the priest. He is the cousin of Abdel-Malik, Petitjean, Farid K., and a 21 year-old man arrested near Toulouse, france. Two other persons, whose names appeared in other surveys and that are of interest to varying degrees of investigations, have also been put in review, Jean-Philippe J. and a minor of 17 years.
02/10/2016 15:08:57 – Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray (France) (AFP) – © 2016 AFP