Islamic State killers are part of vortex of evil, says NI cleric

Catholic bishop Noel Treanor

Catholic bishop Noel Treanor

The murder of a French cleric gives rise to “key questions about the meaning of life”, according to a top Northern Ireland-based clergyman.

Catholic Bishop Noel Treanor told those gathered for mass in Belfast’s St Peter’s Cathedral on Sunday that the killing of Father Jacques Hamel by two men who had pledged allegiance to Islamic State had made him a “martyr”.

The 85-year-old’s throat had been cut as he celebrated the Eucharist in church.

“All people of good will look on in horror at such butchery and lament for humanity,” said the bishop.

“But lamenting does not suffice! Nor will security measures or the force of arms resolve the root causes of such evil.

“In the face of this vortex of evil, this crisis in history and civilisation, prayerfulness, re-discovery of faith in the God of Jesus Christ and living the gospel values are vital to the essential Christian contribution to promoting justice, peace and co-operation between peoples and nations.”