A 91-year-old Catholic priest was killed by a 19-year-old who was reportedly victimized by the holy man when he was growing up. The murder occurred at the Preist’s home in Agnetz, Oise, in northern France, on November 4th of 2019, but the incident has made international headlines due to the symbolic nature of the killing, and how incredibly gruesome it was.
Police indicated that Catholic Priest Roger Matassoli was tortured by the 19-year-old in what is being described as a revenge killing. Police say that the priest died because the young man rammed a crucifix down his throat, suffocating him and causing multiple internal injuries.
The 19-year-old suspect was not named by police, but he was identified as simply “Alexandre V” in the media reports to surface since the incident. Alexandre spent two months in a mental institution after being arrested on the day of the attack, but it was not until this week that he was finally charged with murder, torture, and resisting arrest.
Alexandre claims that he does not remember carrying out the murder, but the evidence against him is significant. Police even caught him while he was attempting to flee the scene of the crime. Despite the gruesome manner in which the priest was killed, there are many people online who have voiced words of sympathy for the young man. Alexandre obviously has some very deep pain and trauma, and he lashed out in a violent way when no one would come to his defense.
Alexandre was victimized by the priest between the ages of 6 and 15, according to his sister. He is not the only victim either, there were at least four other young boys who were abused by the priest between 1960 and 2000. These are only the people who have made formal accusations against the priest, but it is possible that there are many victims who were afraid to come forward with stories of their own.
Family members of the suspect say that Matassoli destroyed their family, and was even guilty of abusing the suspect’s father. Matassoli was a close and trusted friend of the family for many years, and even worked for them as a housekeeper for a period of time. The suspect’s sister says that Matassoli abused the suspect and his father, traumatizing two generations of the family. Eventually, when the grandfather found out what happened to his son and grandson, he killed himself, according to The Sun.
Matassoli was collecting a paycheck from the church until last year, but Beauvais bishop Jacques Benoit-Gonnin promised that Matassoli was relieved of his duties at the church back in 2009 because of the accusations against him. The bishop says that the church made an “error” in continuing to pay the disgraced priest, but did not give any further details. However, the leaders of the church were well aware of Matassoli’s criminal tendencies when they hired him, as he spent many years bouncing from church to church evading allegations of abuse.
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