Huge crowds gathered at Rouen Cathedral in northern France on Tuesday for the funeral of Father Jacques Hamel, the 85-year-old priest who was murdered in his church by two jihadists last week.
Some 2,000 mourners crammed into the soaring Gothic sanctuary, with hundreds more watching the ceremony on a giant screen outside. A section of pews was set aside for residents of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, the nearby industrial town where the two jihadists, both 19, slit Hamel's throat while he was celebrating mass in an attack that shocked the country as well as the Catholic Church.
Along with churches across France, the 11th-century cathedral had on Sunday opened its doors to Muslims wishing to show their solidarity after the grisly attack, with the visitors paying a moving tribute to Hamel and denouncing radical Islam. As on Sunday, security was tight, with police closely checking mourners' bags and backpacks.
... The service was to be followed by a private burial at an undisclosed location.
In a France that was still France, the priests grave would have been honoured by French people; in a France that is no longer France, it be defiled by Muslims.