Pope Issues 'Strongest Condemnation' of Paris Attack

Pope Francis has issued the "strongest condemnation" of today's terrorist attack in Paris by Islamist militants. Here below is my translation of Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi's statement, released this evening.  


"The Holy Father expresses the strongest condemnation of the horrific attack that struck the city of Paris this morning, claiming a high number of victims, sowing death, throwing the entire French society into disarray, and deeply disturbing all peace-loving people, well beyond the borders of France.

In prayer, Pope Francis shares in the suffering of the wounded and the families of the deceased and calls upon all to oppose by every means possible the spread of hatred and all forms of violence, both physical and moral, which destroy human life, violate the dignity of the person, and radically undermine the fundamental good of peaceful coexistence between individuals and peoples, despite differences of nationality, religion and culture.

Whatever the motives may be, homicidal violence is abhorrent. It is never justifiable. The life and dignity of all must be resolutely guaranteed and protected. Any incitement to hatred should be rejected. Respect for the other must be cultivated.

The Pope expresses his closeness, his spiritual solidarity and his support for all those who, according to their different responsibilities, continue to steadfastly work for peace, justice and rights, to heal in depth the sources and causes of hatred, at this painful and tragic moment in France and in every part of the world marked by tensions and violence."