Was Jacques Hamel A Martyr To The Faith Or To His Illusions About Islam?

The ISIS-inspired attack on a priest and his church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray is a lesson in the price Christianity pays for the fanaticism of profligate mercy.

Before the Rev. Jacques Hamel’s blood dried on the floor of his church, calls went out to place him on the fast track to sainthood. Hashtag beatification spread through Twitter: #santosubito, or “make him a saint now.” In this rush to canonize the murdered French priest, something crucial went missing.

There was a time the Catholic Church used the word dialogue differently than it does now. Historically, dialogue meant an opportunity to convey and defend the truths of the faith. It was never a companionable device to underplay irreconcilable differences and just get along. As employed today, dialogue with Islam is accommodating and uncritical, a faux-Franciscan burlesque of the real thing.