Pope calls Paris attacks part of 'piecemeal World War III'

by ANN SCHNEIBLE
Sat, Nov 14th 2015 07:00 am
Catholic News Agency  [ View Original Article ]
Pope Francis condemned the terrorist attacks in Paris as `inhuman.` (File Photo)
Pope Francis condemned the terrorist attacks in Paris as "inhuman." (File Photo)

VATICAN CITY (CNA/EWTN News) - The acts of terrorism which took place in Paris Friday night are the latest part in what Pope Francis has called a "piecemeal World War III," describing the attacks as "inhuman."

"There is no justification for these things," the pontiff said in a phone interview Saturday with TV 2000, the official broadcasting station for the Italian Bishops Conference.

Speaking in response to the Nov. 13, which are the deadliest acts of violence the city has seen since the World War II, the Pope said he is "moved and pained" by what happened, and expressed his closeness to those affected by the tragedy.

"I am close to the people of France, to the families of the victims, and I am praying for all of them," he said.

"These things are hard to understand," he said, adding that he "loves France very much."

At least 128 people are confirmed dead and more than 180 wounded in terrorist attacks which targeted bars, restaurants, a concert hall, and a football stadium in the heart of Paris on Nov. 13. Around 80 people are listed in critical condition, according to the BBC.

The deadliest attack came when militants overtook the Bataclan concert hall, in which at least 82 people were killed, after the terrorists had siezed dozens of hostages.

Eyewitnesses reported  hearing the terrorists cry out "Allahu Akbar!" - Arabic for "God is Great!" The terrorists carried out the siege with suicide bombs and semi-automatic weapons. Police have said all eight attackers are dead.

In the wake of the attacks, Paris archbishop Cardinal André Vingt-Trois in a Nov. 14 statement appealed for the grace to be "artisans of peace." He stressed that "we must never despair of peace if we are to build justice.

"Faced with the violence of men," he said,  "we can receive the grace of a steadfast heart without hate." The French prelate called for people to not give in to panic or hatred.

"This morning I pray and I invite the Catholics of Paris to pray for those who were killed yesterday and for their families," Cardinal André Vingt-Trois continued. He also called for prayers for the injured, those working to help those affected by the crisis, and the nation's leaders in order that they "remain together in unity and peace of heart."

"We ask for the grace to be artisans of peace. We must never despair of peace, if you justice," he said.

The BBC reports that French president Francois Hollande has called the attacks "an act of war" by ISIS.

The French president declared a nationwide state of emergency soon after the rampage began and closed the country's borders. Parisians were urged to stay in doors.

This is the second and deadlier of two sieges against Paris by Islamic terrorists in 2015. 12 people were killed on Jan. 7 when Islamic terrorists stormed the headquarters of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.  

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