Archbishop Eamon Martin has sent a message of solidarity to the Catholic community in Normandy following the horrific killing of Fr Jacques Hamel on Tuesday.
The Derry Primate of All Ireland sent out a message to the Archbishop of Rouen following the attack in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray.
Fr Hamel (86) was killed on Tuesday when two attackers slit his throat after interrupting the Mass he was celebrating.
A number of church-goers were also wounded before the killers were shot and killed by police.
Islamic State (Daesh) have claimed responsibility for the attack.
Archbishop Eamon Martin has written to Archbishop Dominique Lebrun, the Archbishop of Rouen, to express his shock, to offer condolences and to express the prayerful solidarity of the Church in Ireland.
Archbishop Eamon expressed his closeness in prayer to all those affected by the incident adding that it is profoundly disturbing that people gathered in a church for worship and prayer should be targeted in this way.
Archbishop Eamon said he was deeply moved by Archbishop Lebrun’s own words earlier today when he said that the “only weapons that we can take up” as Catholics “are prayer and fraternity among peoples” and his call for people “not to give up in the face of violence but to become apostles of the civilisation of love”.
He also has assured Archbishop Lebrun of his prayers for the repose of the soul of Father Jacques, for those injured in the attack, and for the community of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray.
Meanwhile Glendermott Parish Priest Fr Sean O’Donnell took to Facebook to express his own sorrow yesterday.
Fr O’Donnell said: “Rest in peace good and faithful servant. The murder of Fr Jacques is but a reality hidden by the media that is and has been very real on a daily basis for our Catholic brothers and sisters in Iraq, Syria and many other spots for some time now.
“IS and their ‘inventors’ want rid of us!! Simple as. But we hold together in the Real Presence of peace itself with us and we know that evil will never have the last word over love.”