(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Sunday condemned the violence and hatred behind the terror attacks in France which left 129 people dead and several hundred others injured. Speaking to the crowds gathered in St Peter’s Square for his weekly Angelus address, the Pope said he wished to express his deepest condolences to the French President and especially to all those whose family members were killed or wounded in the multiple attacks on Friday night.
Responsibility for the bombings and shootings at a stadium, a concert hall and several bars and restaurants has been claimed by so-called Islamic State extremists.
Pope Francis said such barbarity leaves us stunned as we wonder how human hearts can think up and carry out such atrocities which “have shocked not only France but the whole world”. The Pope stressed again that “the way of violence and hatred does not resolve the problems of humanity”, adding that whoever uses God’s name to justify that path is guilty of blasphemy.
Pope Francis invited all those listening to his words to join him in prayer, entrusting to God’s mercy the innocent victims of this tragedy. Leading the faithful in the recitation of the Ave Maria, he prayed that Mary, the Mother of Mercy, would inspire all our hearts with wisdom and peace.