Nothing can justify terrorist attacks: pope Francis;

Paris violence raises security concerns before upcoming Holy Year of Mercy

“The path of violence and hatred cannot resolve the problems of human and using the name of God to justify this path is blasphemy,” he said.

<p>People light candles in the shape of a cross and heart in Place de la Republique in Paris on Nov. 14. (Photo by Paul Haring/CNS)</p>

People light candles in the shape of a cross and heart in Place de la Republique in Paris on Nov. 14. (Photo by Paul Haring/CNS)

  • Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service
  • Vatican City
  • November 16, 2015
 Using God’s name to try to justify violence and murder is “blasphemy,” Pope Francis said following the terrorist attacks on Paris.

“Such barbarity leaves us dismayed and we ask ourselves how the human heart can plan and carry out such horrible events,” the pope said Nov. 15 after reciting the Angelus prayer with visitors in St. Peter’s Square.

The attacks in Paris Nov. 13 — attacks the French government said were carried out by three teams of Islamic State terrorists — caused the deaths of 129 people and left more than 350 injured, many of them critically. A suicide bomber blew himself up outside a soccer stadium, gunmen attacked customers at cafes and restaurants and a team of terrorists gunned down dozens of people at a concert.

The attacks, Pope Francis said, were an “unspeakable affront to the dignity of the human person.”

“The path of violence and hatred cannot resolve the problems of human and using the name of God to justify this path is blasphemy,” he said.

Pope Francis asked the thousands of people who gathered at St. Peter’s for the Sunday midday prayer to observe a moment of silence and to join him in reciting a Hail Mary.

“May the Virgin Mary, mother of mercy, give rise in the hearts of everyone thoughts of wisdom and proposals for peace,” he said. “We ask her to protect and watch over the dear French nation, the first daughter of the church, over Europe and the whole world.”

“Let us entrust to the mercy of God the innocent victims of this tragedy,” the pope said.

Just a few hours after the attacks occurred, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, issued a statement saying the Vatican was “shocked by this new manifestation of maddening terrorist violence and hatred, which we condemn in the most radical way.”

Father Lombardi was asked about security concerns throughout Europe, and particularly whether the terrorist attacks would impact plans for the Year of Mercy, which is scheduled to begin Dec. 8.

“These murderers, possessed by senseless hatred, are called terrorists precisely because they want to spread terror,” Father Lombardi responded in a statement. “If we let ourselves be frightened, they will have already reached their first objective.”

“It goes without saying that we must be cautious, and not irresponsible,” he said, but “we must go on living by building peace and mutual trust.”

“I would say that the Jubilee of Mercy shows itself even more more necessary,” Father Lombardi said. Preaching God’s love and mercy also is a call for people to love one another and reconcile with each other. It “is precisely the answer we must give in times of temptation to mistrust.”

%d bloggers like this: