Vatican Responds in Forceful Fashion to Paris Terrorist Attack

by Edward Pentin  |  published on January 9, 2015

Three separate papal statements and a joint communiqué from the Holy See and French imams have made up an unusually forceful reaction from the Vatican in response to yesterday’s terrorist attack in the French capital.

At the beginning of his homily at daily Mass this morning at his St. Martha residence, Pope Francis condemned the atrocity carried out by Islamist terrorists, saying the Paris terror attack “makes us think of so much cruelty, human cruelty, of so much terrorism, both isolated incidents of terrorism and state-sponsored terrorism.”

He added: “What great cruelty man is capable of! Let us pray at this Mass for the victims of this cruelty. So many! And let us also pray for the perpetrators of this cruelty, that the Lord might grant them a change of heart.”

Twelve people, including two policemen, one of whom was Muslim, were murdered by three masked gunmen yesterday at the offices of the French weekly satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. The dead also included cartoonists for the stridently anti-religious, anti-establishment magazine, as well as visitors to the Paris office.

The publication had become famous in recent years for publishing inflammatory cartoons ridiculing Islam and the Prophet Mohammed. In 2011, its offices were firebombed.

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