Catholic priest killed by Islamist troops, possibly beheaded

On I read that there is going to be some sort of Islamic-Catholic Liaison Committee meeting (HERE).

I also read (HERE) that practitioners of the “religion of peace” murdered a Catholic priest, Fr Fran?ois Mourad, in Syria near the Turkish border. Read the AsiaNews account HERE.  More details HERE.


“In past years, Fr Fran?ois Mourad repeatedly put his life on the line in Syria pushing for the construction of the monastery,” the priest said.

“Initially, he bought some land near Aleppo with the help of some local families, but was chased away by Islamic extremists. So he decided to fall back on Al-Ghassaniyah, where he built a small hermitage a few kilometres from the village with the help of some young Syrians.”

“His work had just started,” the monk explained, “when Islamist troops put the area under siege. He eventually found himself alone as his postulants fled because of the war, witnessing helplessly the destruction and looting of the monastery and nearby villages.”

“Fr Fran?ois Mourad had the opportunity to go away, to take shelter in a safer area, but decided to stay in order to serve his people, willing to help the local parish priest and the nuns of the Franciscan Monastery of St Anthony in the village of Al-Ghassaniyah, which had an infirmary; the only clinic in the area and a point of reference for many Christian and Muslim families.”

“Here Fr Fran?ois replaced the parish priest whenever he was traveling to other convents, giving comfort to families housed in the convent and the nuns too.”

On the day of Fr Francois’s death, the parish priest was out. When armed Islamists came, the Franciscan friar was alone in the convent with the nuns and some lay Christians. A few more hours and two priests would have been killed. ”

According to the monk, Fr Fran?ois did not even have time to argue with the gunmen bent on plundering the convent. As soon as he stood in front of them, they shot him dead on the spot.


Some reports say that Fr. Mourad was also beheaded.  For example, HERE and HERE. (WARNING about those links.  Really.)

Sts. Nunilo and Alodia, pray for us.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. The Sicilian Woman says:

    I’ve read a few different reports about what happened exactly; this is the first to mention he was shot. One I read said he and a couple of other men were beheaded by a butter knife. If so, what a slow, agonizing death. Either way, Fr. Francois Mourad is likely St. Francois Mourad. May he rest in peace and intercede for us.

    Coming soon to a country near us. In fact, that country will be us. I’ve added St. Stephen and St. Thomas More to my own litany of saints to whom I pray daily for the strength, conviction and courage to be a martyr.

  2. Konrad says:

    These terrorists are the people to which our governments promised to give even more weapons. Sad, isn’t it? Giving weapons to terrorists which happen to fight a regime we don’t like doesn’t make them less terrorists.

  3. VexillaRegis says:

    In paradisum deducant eum angeli.

  4. May the Lord have mercy on him. Some reports are saying he was not the only priest to die. According to Fr. Mourad was a Trappist, then a Franciscan and the founder of a new Syrian Catholic congregation the “Franciscan Friars of the Custody of the Holy Land” inspired by the spirituality of St. Symeon Stylites. They wear a grey habit. Another martyr for the faith!

  5. alexandra88 says:

    Almighty God, thank you for giving Fr. Francois the perseverance to endure to the end in order to win the crown of life. Grant him eternal rest. Amen.

  6. may he and all martyrs at the hands of these barbarians rest on the bosom of the Lord.

  7. StJude says:

    Father was beheaded… there is video. He was a martyr.

    This is the ‘side’ Obama is arming. God have mercy on us.

  8. DisturbedMary says:

    Two weeks ago Cardinal Dolan made his first visit to a mosque on Staten Island where the SI Advance reported: “The cardinal asked questions about the Muslim faith and emphasized throughout his visit how much the two religions and their members have in common.
    “You love God, we love God and he is the same God,” the cardinal said of the Muslim and Roman Catholic faiths.
    Cardinal Dolan stressed that Catholics and Muslims have a mutual love of the United States and of the religious freedom that this country affords, especially the ability to meet with people of different beliefs that would not be possible in some other nations….

    Even as Christian and priestly blood is flowing, we are told banal flufferies about possibly the greatest heresy of all time – Islam.

  9. Priam1184 says:

    A man and a priest who picked up his cross and carried through to the end. Pray for us Father Francois.

  10. Robbie says:

    A Catholic priest is beheaded in Syria and there’s nary a mention from the US press. I guess that’s because most of the members of the press don’t believe in religion or have little use for it. But when an American soldier supposedly mishandles a Koran, the US media covers it breathlessly and even sympathizes with the protests that occur in Muslim countries.

  11. Thom says:

    Saint Francis Mourad, pray for us.

  12. Darren says:

    A quote I recently read from Archbishop Chaput, Philadelphia:
    “Every word in the Creed was prayed over, argued over and clarified by decades of struggle in the Early Church. The words are precious and uncompromising. They direct us toward God and set us apart from the world. When people sometimes claim that Islam and Christianity have so much in common, they need to read or reread the Creed. Catholics pray the Creed every Sunday at Mass as the framework and fundamental profession of our faith. Devout Muslims reject nearly every line of it.”

  13. Maltese says:

    Let us pray for the ‘religion of peace’; it’s great prophet, and his 9 y/o wife Aisha!

  14. NBW says:

    May Fr. Mourad’s soul rest in peace. And in this country we are in a stupor of beer and TV. I hope we wake up before it’s too late.

  15. jhayes says:

    Father was beheaded

    According to the Vatican News Service, he was shot. I would wait for clarification.

    “According to the Custos of the Holy Land, Franciscan Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the monk was killed June 23 last during a raid on the Franciscan monastery of St Anthony of Padua in Ghassanieh, a predominantly Christian village in the district of Jisr al-Shughur in the province of Idlib, near the border with Turkey.

    Fr Pizzaballa says that from the photos and eye witness accounts of the monastery’s religious the village had been under attack from Islamist rebels for the past few weeks, forcing the majority of the population to flee.

    He says the monastery of St. Anthony was the only safe area and that at the time of the attack gave shelter to Fr. Fran?ois, some Franciscan friars, four sisters and ten Christians. When Fr. Fran?ois tried to oppose resistance to defend the nuns and other people, the guerrillas shot him, killing him.”

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  17. Theodore says:

    Why should we be surprised at such barbarism? Stoddart and Conolly were similarly treated while playing the Great Game at Bukhara in the 1840s. Nothing has changed.

    Hopkirk’s book on the Great Game has all the gruesome details.

  18. StJude says:

    jhayes says:
    “According to the Vatican News Service, he was shot. I would wait for clarification.”

    There is a video of it. He was brutal beheaded in front of a mob.

  19. Bob B. says:

    This president and his minions have not understood the Mid-East throughout the time they’ve been in office (this also applies to almost all Obama’s foreign policy). They think arming the lawless rebels will bring down the lawless government of Syria. (Don’t pay attention to the Arab Spring nonsense where militants have attempted to overthrow non-militant governments.) The people in the State Dept. (including both SecStates) have no idea what’s going on, except that “gay rights” are central to U.S. foreign policy – no wonder this administration is thought of as a joke by governments around the world!
    I also read about Cardinal Dolan’s visit to a Staten Island Mosque where he said, “You love God, we love God and he is the same God.” “Same”??? This from a prince of the Church, no less!
    Let’s see if I get this right, 600 years or so after Christ, this “religion” was created by someone and virtually everything Jesus said is now wrong or changed. Um, hm.

  20. acardnal says:

    Jihadist Muslims killing and beheading Christians, especially clerics, is a very effective technique – together with bombing churches – of driving Christians out of the Middle East and the Holy Land without any consequences. The pogrom continues.

    Requiem aeternam, Father Francois Mourad.

  21. jhayes says:

    There is a video of it.

    But not involving Fr. Mourad, according to this. I have no personal knowledge but I would wait to hear more,

    A sensational Youtube video, purportedly showing the execution of 3 Franciscan friars by Islamic extremists in Syria, is “mixed up,” Church officials have announced

    Islamic warriors allied with the Syrian rebel movement posted the video, claiming that they were executing the Franciscans at Al Ghassaniyah monastery, where a priest, Father Francois Mourad, had been killed earlier this week. But Franciscan officials reported that the friars had left that monastery, taking the body of Father Mourad with them, and were safe at another location.

    “They are all alive,” said Father Pierbattista Pizzabella, the head of the Franciscan Custody in the Holy Land. He reported that no Franciscan remain in the region from which the video was reported posted. Father Pizzabella asked for prayers for peace in Syria, and for the unidentified men who were executed on the video.

  22. acardnal says:

    Regardless of how, he was martyred by Jihadists. Lord have mercy.

  23. Clinton says:

    It would be bad enough if it were just militants who had ‘gone off the reservation’ and done
    this on their own. But what makes it especially appalling is the relative silence on the part of
    Islamic religious leaders. Where is the outrage in the Muslim world at what is being done in
    the name of Islam?

    There are PR groups like CAIR and the Muslim Council of Britain which issue repudiations of
    these sort of things– public relations are their raison d’etre, after all. But where is the
    outrage and disgust on the part of the Imams and the everyday Muslim faithful?

    There is an old legal adage that bears keeping in mind: “silence implies consent”.

  24. rhhenry says:


    If possible, please provide a citation (or better yet, a link) to Abp. Chaput’s remarks; I would love to read them in their entirety.


  25. Darren says:

    Yep… majuscle got that one.

    Here is a link to his weekly columns at the Archdiocese’s web site:

  26. Nan says:

    @Clinton, forcible conversions or death is what the Koran teaches, thus the lack of outrage. Islam is deadly.

  27. JuliB says:

    Bob B,
    His Awesomeness, P.E. B16 has said that the Muslims worship the same God that we do.

    Did he say that strictly as a private theologian offering his opinion, or as himself as Pope? I have no idea, and have not seen an explanation. This, and this alone, has kept me neutral to the idea.

  28. Indulgentiam says:

    @JuliB says:”His Awesomeness, P.E. B16 has said that the Muslims worship the same God that we do.”
    Could you provide a link to that quote or tell me where or when he said this please?

    I am aware of the Regensburg Lecture where he expounded, eloquently as usual, on the following quote.
    “Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached”.

  29. JuliB says:

    Since I didn’t recall off the top of my head, I googled ‘pope benedict muslims worship same god’. A catholicanswers apologetics reply from Michelle Arnold referenced it (she said it was not an opinion as a private theologian). Then there were several links that reported Pope Francis as saying the same thing.

    Here’s a decent quote from a article: “Now, both Lumen Gentium 16 and Pope Francis’s words have a pastoral rather than doctrinal purpose. Their aim is to build interreligious bridges by generously acknowledging whatever can be found to be true in other faiths—not to make precise pronouncements about their theology. That said, Lumen Gentium is an exercise of the ordinary magisterium, and even casual statements from a pope (be it this one from Francis or similar ones made by his predecessors) shouldn’t be taken lightly.”.

    I would suggest reading the whole article as it goes into a lot of interesting points:

    I found an anti-Catholic you tube video that refers to a catechesis on 8/24/2005 and has a newspaper article (unsourced) that refers to this point.

    The hour is late, so I can search for a more specific reference, but I think the above may be a good starting point.

  30. JuliB says:

    The little additional research I did appears that his comments are quoting and reaffirming the V2 statements.

  31. Indulgentiam says:

    @JuliB–thank you for all the research you did :). I too did a good deal of research before i posed my question. I too found nothing credible. if I am understanding you correctly, and please correct me if I am wrong, there is no credible documentation that he ever made such a statement.
    In all P.E. Benedict XVI writings, that I have read, there has never been even the allusion that he believes such a thing. But hey I’m old, I wear bifocals, I certainly could have missed it. However from all I have been privileged to read of His Holiness lectures etc…it seems to me that he neither believes nor has said any such thing.

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