Via Twitter

France: Priest murdered by suspected cathedral arsonist

A priest has been murdered in the Vendée region of western France.

A Rwandan national suspected of burning a cathedral in Nantes last year has handed himself in after murdering a Catholic priest today.

The body of Fr. Olivier Maire was found this morning in Saint-Laurent-sur-Sèvre in western France, with the perpetrator, named as Emmanuel A, reportedly declaring to police in the nearby town of Mortagne-sur-Sevre that he had killed the 60 year-old.

“All my support for the Catholics of our country after the tragic murder of a priest in the Vendée,” Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin wrote.

Marine Le Pen condemned the government however, after it emerged the attacker had been under judicial supervision following the Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul church-burning in July 2020.

“So in France, it’s possible to be an illegal immigrant, to set fire to the cathedral of Nantes, never to be expelled, and to re-offend by murdering a priest,” Le Pen said on Twitter.

Darmin dismissed Le Pen’s comment however, claiming she was “making a polemic without knowing the facts.”

The priest is thought to have housed the Rwandan in his church for some time, with local senator Bruno Retailleau saying telling Twitter he was deeply shocked by the murder.

“Deeply shocked by the terrible murder of a priest who had taken his murderer into his care,” Retailleau said.

“What was this man still doing in France?” asked the senator.

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