The lifeless body of a priest was discovered this Monday in Saint-Laurent-sur-Sèvre. The Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, has planned to go there in the afternoon.
The drama took place in the morning, at 70 kilometers from Nantes. A priest of Saint-Laurent-sur-Sèvre, in Vendée, was the victim of a “dramatic assassination”, declared the minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, shortly after noon on his Twitter account.
“A man presented himself in the middle of the morning to the Mortagne-sur-Sèvre gendarmerie brigade and said he had killed a clergyman, ”, a source close to the matter told AFP. The suspect had been placed under judicial supervision as part of the investigation into the fire at Nantes cathedral in July 2019, which he is suspected of having triggered, said the same source. Of Rwandan nationality, volunteer for the diocese and came to take refuge in France in 86, the man had confessed have set fire to three different places in the building. He was first remanded in custody before being released under judicial supervision.
The modus operandi of the crime was not yet known, but a police source ruled out a knife attack. The priest, 29 years old and member of the religious community of Montfortians in Saint-Laurent -on-Sèvre, welcomed this man “for several months”, indicated a police source.
“Support for Catholics” On Twitter, the Minister of the Interior announced to bring “all his support for Catholics.” In a second message published on the social network, the Minister of the Interior responded to a controversy initiated by Marine Le Pen on the presence of the suspect on the national territory while he had recognized his involvement in the fire in Nantes. In response to the president of the National Rally, Darmanin recalled that the individual “was not deportable despite his deportation order as long as his judicial control was not lifted” , accusing Marine Le Pen of “unworthiness”.
All my support for the Catholics of our country after the dramatic assassination of a priest in Vendée. I go there.
– Gérald DARMANIN (@GDarmanin) August 9, 2021 Quickly, the reactions of politicians multiplied. Valérie Pécresse, president of the Ile-de-France region, said she was upset by the announcement of the assassination, five years after that Father Hamel in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray . “My thoughts are with all our Catholic compatriots struck in the heart”, she indicated. Then to wonder: “The perpetrator of the murder of the Vendée priest would be the Rwandan national who set fire to the Nantes cathedral in 2020 and who should have left the territory since 2016. By what cascade of failures did we arrive at this tragedy? ”
The senator from Vendée and president of the group Les Républicains au Senate, Bruno Retailleau, paid homage “to Father Olivier Maire, superior of the Montfortians murdered by a criminal he was lodging out of charity. His death testifies to the kindness of this priest whom I knew well and whose depth of faith I had been able to appreciate. His death is a great loss ”. Vincent Neymon, Deputy Secretary General of the Conference of Bishops of France joined by AFP, expressed his “amazement and deep sadness”. The Montfort missionaries are a congregation present in about thirty countries, very oriented on charity and hospitality.
I want to pay homage to Father Olivier Maire, superior of the Montfortians murdered by a criminal who ‘he was hosting out of charity. His death testifies to the kindness of this priest whom I knew well and whose depth of faith I had been able to appreciate. His death is a great loss pic.twitter.com/NbH1KogPvR
– Bruno Retailleau (@BrunoRetailleau) 1424687334650437634 August 9, 2021 Asked about LCI shortly after the announcement of the death of Father Mayor, the bishop of Vendée François Jacolin mentioned a “very generous man with whom the diocese collaborated a lot, appreciated by all” : “It’s unimaginable. The victim is the provincial superior of the Montfortine Fathers, who resided in Saint-Laurent-sur-Sèvre. He and his community were victims of their generosity. It is in the line of the Gospel, Christ asked to be at the help and at the service of those who are often disturbed. ”
The last fatal attack targeting a member of the Catholic Church in France dates back to 26 October, when Brahim Aouissaoui, a Tunisian 07, had killed with a knife two faithful and the sacristan of the Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption basilica, in Nice, before being seriously injured by municipal police officers.