Rome Newsroom, Aug 9, 2021 / 10:30 am
A Rwandan man who reportedly handed himself in to police after the murder of a priest in western France on Monday met with Pope Francis in 2016, according to French Catholic media.
The suspect, identified by the media as Emmanuel Abayisenga, 40, is also the main suspect in an arson attack on the cathedral in Nantes, northwestern France, in July 2020.
The murder victim was named as Fr. Olivier Maire, 61, the French provincial superior of the Montfort Missionaries (the Company of Mary). His death was announced on Aug. 9 by French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin.
The French bishops’ conference and the Conference of Religious of France said in a joint statement that the suspect “was staying with Fr. Olivier Maire” in Saint-Laurent-sur-Sèvre, a commune in the Vendée department, at the time of the murder.