Rome, Italy, Aug 10, 2016 / 05:06 am America/Denver (CNA).
A Catholic charity is launching a campaign to support the studies of 1,000 seminarians around the world in honor of a French priest who was killed by ISIS sympathizers while celebrating Mass two weeks ago.
The Italian chapter of the pontifical foundation Aid to the Church in Need announced the campaign, which will help fund the education of future priests in 21 dioceses around the world.
“Support for the formation of new priests is a concrete response to fundamentalism, because especially in countries where the extremist threat is the greatest, the ministers of God must possess the appropriate tools to promote dialogue and contribute to a peaceful coexistence between all the religious groups, putting an end to the conflicts,” said Alessandro Monteduro, director of the group in Italy.
The campaign comes in response to the July 26 murder of Father Jacques Hamel, an 84-year-old priest who was killed while celebrating Mass in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, France.
ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack, in which two armed gunmen stormed the church, taking the priest and four others hostage. They slit Fr. Hamel’s throat and critically injured another of the hostages before being shot dead by police.