The three nuns present in the church on July 26, 2016 did not want to be civil parties to the trial of the Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray attack, nor come to speak in the courtroom. The president of the court, however, read Monday evening the depositions of Sister Jacqueline Decaux, 88, Sister Huguette Péron, 86, and Danielle Delafosse, 78, all three members of the congregation of Saint-Vincent-de-Paul.
→ EXPLANATION. Why are the nuns who witnessed the Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray attack absent from the trial?
Me Catherine Fabre, lawyer for Mgr Dominique Lebrun and for the diocese of Rouen, then asked to speak to read a letter received a few days earlier from Sister Danielle. Here is the full text, reproduced with his consent.
“When I returned, the evening of the tragedy, after having been heard by the police, it was a Muslim friend who welcomed me to the community – with my sisters…
This has always been present, in the highlights at Vesti-amis (parish clothing fair).
Whatever our faith in God, in God who is Love, the important thing for me is respect, listening to the person, it is welcoming their wealth which builds fraternity.
– “I don’t know the accused, I don’t want to see their faces, I know their names… I’ll leave it at that, but every day, I pray (for them) to Father Jacques.”
– “You have unmasked Satan, the divider, may God help us to repel his temptations, welcoming the Spirit of Love and Forgiveness (1), and I adhere to the word of Christ on the Cross, Father, forgive them, they do not know what they are doing”…
And for me today, being a witness to God’s love means welcoming Muslim mothers to Vesti-amis… It’s a meeting that meets needs (clothing) but above all fraternal exchanges (smiles, words positives, cupcakes…).
And also this openness, to donate clothes, by shipments, to Senegal and Morocco, for migrants in Évreux and Calais, and the homeless.
For me, it’s fraternity, as Jesus told me: “All that you have done to the least of your brothers, you will have done to me.”
I’m too tired to come to the Assize Court. I wanted to communicate these elements and I trust justice. And I want to tell the accused people that I hope they will meet people, friends who will help them understand that violence is not the solution.
Done in Paris, February 4, 2022,
Sister Danielle Delafosse »