Murder of Father Hamels was attack on French secularism, says author in Jesuit journal
[A martyr not for the Faith but for the Revolution]
Catholic World News – August 29, 2016
In an article published in the authoritative Italian journal Civilta Cattolica, a Jesuit scholar argues that the murder of Father Jacques Hamel by Islamic terrorists should be understood as an attempt to undermine French traditions of secularity and create conflict between religions.
Father Giancarlo Pani takes aim at the argument that the killing was primarily an attack on the Catholic Church, writing:
The priest’s murder is not to be seen as an “assassination in a cathedral” but as a hard blow to the heart of French secularism, the birthplace of the revolution, of liberté, égalité, fraternité, the envy of enlightenment, the nation that bases its secularism on respect for all religions and all people, whatever their nationality.
The Civilta Cattolica essay sees the attack on a Catholic priest as “a way to strike right at the heart of France, its institutions, its fundamental principles,” and particularly its commitment to coexistence of different religious and cultural traditions.
Articles in Civilta Cattolica are regarded as authoritative because the contents of the Jesuit journal are approved in advance by the Vatican’s Secretariat of State. The editor, Father Antonio Spadaro, is a key adviser to Pope Francis.