DEVELOPING: Catholics Unite in Prayer as Paris Terror Siege Continues
‘We pray for the victims and the wounded and for all the French people,’ Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said. ‘This is an attack on peace for all humanity.’
VATICAN CITY — After Friday evening's devastating terror attacks throughout Paris that are reported to have claimed more than 100 lives, the Vatican voiced its dismay over the events and urged a “decisive” response.
“We are shocked by this new manifestation of maddening, terrorist violence and hatred, which we condemn in the most radical way, together with the Pope and all those who love peace,” Holy See Press Office director Father Federico Lombardi said in a statement.
“We pray for the victims and the wounded and for all the French people. This is an attack on peace for all humanity, and it requires a decisive, supportive response on the part of all of us as we counter the spread of homicidal hatred in all of its forms.”
Numerous attacks across the city of Paris were reported on the evening of Nov. 13. Explosions were reported near the Stade de France, the national stadium, where a soccer match was under way. Shootings were reported in the area of the famous Louvre museum and the nearby Les Halles shopping mall, as well as Le Petit Cambodge restaurant.
In addition, dozens of hostages were reportedly held at Bataclan concert hall. French police stormed the concert hall and later declared the hostage situation over, saying that they had killed two attackers. AFP quoted police sources saying about 100 people had been killed in the concert venue.
Amid the violence, French President Francois Hollande announced a state of emergency throughout the entire country and said that the nation’s borders would be closed.
Global leaders, from U.S. President Barack Obama to British Prime Minister David Cameron, as well heads of state from around the world, expressed outrage and sadness over the grisly attacks.
Church leaders also voiced their solidarity with the victims and their families. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops urged prayer for all involved, with individual bishops posting their reactions via social media.
“May St. Denis and Our Lady of Lourdes intercede tonight for the people of Paris,” Bishop James Conley of Lincoln, Neb., said on Twitter.
“My prayers are with the people of Paris tonight. Let us pray for the victims, the hostages and their families,” said Bishop Frank Caggiano of Bridgeport, Conn.
Bishop Kevin Farrell of Dallas and Bishop Michael Olson of Fort Worth also voiced prayers on Twitter.