Pope praying for the families of terror attack victims

Pope Francis says he is praying for the families of the three people killed at Nice’s Notre Dame cathedral last week.

He is asking the Lord to bring them comfort and he commends the victims to God’s mercy.

The attack, one of two at churches in France last week was attributed to Muslim extremists. It resulted in the cathedral’s custodian and two women being attacked and killed with a knife.

“It’s a moment of pain, in a time of confusion,” said Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni in a message from Francis for the French people.

“Terrorism and violence must never be tolerated. Today’s attack sowed death in a place of love and consolations, such as the house of the Lord,” the message says.

He also calls for unity in France’s Catholic community and among all the French people. He tells them he is entrusting France to the protection of Our Lady.

He “wholeheartedly gives the Apostolic Blessing to all those affected by this tragedy”, his statement continues, and is “close to the grieving Catholic community,”.

The pope is praying for families, loved ones and victims “so that the violence will cease, and they may return to see each other as brothers and sisters and not enemies so that the beloved French people may respond united for good against evil.”

World leaders and governments have issued statements denouncing the Nice attack.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the UK is standing “steadfastly with France against terror and intolerance” and condemned the incident as “a barbaric attack”.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry said “No reason could legitimize or excuse killing someone or violence. Those who conducted this savage attack at a sacred place of worship do not clearly share any religious, humane or moral values.”

The President of the European Council Charles Michel said he “stands in solidarity” with the French people.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was among a number of heads of state condemning the attack. “Germany stands with France at this difficult time,” she said.

Saudi Arabia, which witnessed an attack on a guard at the French Consulate in Jiddah on Thursday, also condemned the knife attack at the Notre Dame Basilica in Nice and offered condolences for victims.

Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri said “Terrorism has no religion, and all Muslims are called on to reject this criminal act that is not related to Islam or to the prophet of love,” he said.

Qatar offered its “strong condemnation and denunciation” of the attack in France with its Foreign Affairs Ministry reiterating “Qatar’s firm position on rejecting violence and terrorism, regardless of the motives and reason.”

The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was also among those offering support , saying he condemned the “heinous attack” and offered his condolences to the families of the victims.

In another attack at a French church last week, a Greek Orthodox priest was shot and badly injured on Saturday in the French city of Lyon.

The reason for the shooting was unclear.


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