To the Most Rev. Dominique Lebrun
Archbishop of Rouen
Please accept my sincere condolences over the murder of the Rev. Jacque Hamal by terrorist in the church of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray.
At such moments it is especially important to remember the words of our Saviour addressed to the apostles and through them to all Christians, ‘In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.’ (Jn. 16:33). Terrorist, however much they may want it, will never reach the desired goal since the ultimate victory belongs to the Lord Who said, ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay’ (Rom. 12:19).
I pray to All-merciful God for the repose of the soul of the slain pastor, for the good health and well-being of all who have survived this tragedy. Kindly convey the words of support to the spiritual children of Father Jacques and his loved ones.
With love in the Lord,
Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk
Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations