Vatican, Pope Francis respond to terrorist attacks in Paris

Paris terrorist attacks

Armed police officers go on foot patrol around Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris Nov. 14. Dozens of people were killed in a series of terrorist attacks in Paris Nov. 13. (CNS photo/Ian Langsdon, EPA)

By Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Here is a translation of a statement issued by the director of the Holy See press office, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, shortly after the terror attacks in Paris on Nov. 13.

         "Here in the Vatican we are following the terrible news from Paris. We are shocked by this new manifestation of maddening, terrorist violence and hatred which we condemn in the most radical way together with the Pope and all those who love peace. We pray for the victims and the wounded, and for all the French people. This is an attack on peace for all humanity, and it requires a decisive, supportive response on the part of all of us as we counter the spread the homicidal hatred in all of its forms."

         Paris endured the deadliest acts of violence since the days of World War II. Multiple attacks hit the City of Lights, including the Bataclan concert hall. Eyewitnesses at the American rock concert report Islamic extremists entered the building, yelled “Allahu Akbar!”  (Arabic for “God is Great!”) and shot random concertgoers, then detonated suicide vests. 

         French president Francois Hollande called the attacks, which have thus far claimed more than 100 lives, "an act of war" by ISIS. He declared a state of emergency and closed the nation's borders. 

         Pope Francis responded to Italian media questions about the terrorism in France, and likened it to a "piecemeal World War III." 

         "This is one piece," the pontiff said. "There is no justification for these things… This is not human.”

         Paris archbishop Cardinal André Vingt-Trois received a telegram from the Vatican and asked Parisians to join him in prayer for the dead and injured and for "unity of heart."

         The telegram expressed Pope Francis' prayers that God "inspire thoughts of peace and solidarity in all and to impart on families in this trial and on all of the French people, the abundance of His Blessings.”


Editor's note: sources include The Catholic World Report