Editor’s note: Today, we are united in prayer with families in Paris who are suffering the loss of loved ones and remain fearful in the wake of yesterday’s violence. Please join us in praying through the intercession of St. Denis, St. Joan of Arc, St. Therese and our Blessed Mother for peace and healing in our world. We provide the following excerpts for your information and urge you to visit Vatican Radio for ongoing Catholic coverage of news from Paris. Lisa M. Hendey
Pope Francis: No religious or human justification for Paris attacks
Pope Francis has called the attacks in Paris “a piece” of the “piecemeal Third World War.” In a telephone interview on Saturday morning with the Italian Bishops’ Conference official television network – TV2000 – Pope Francis said the attacks are “not human.”
“I am close to the people of France, to the families of the victims, and I am praying for all of them,” Pope Francis said. “I am moved and I am saddened. I do not understand, these things hard to understand.”
When asked if this is part of the “piecemeal Third World War” the Holy Father has mentioned many times before, Pope Francis said “this is a piece of it,” adding “there is no religious or human justification for it.”
Fr. Lombardi SJ on Paris terror: Attack on peace for all humanity
Early Saturday morning, the Director of the Press Office of the Holy See, Fr. Federico Lombardi, issued an initial statement in response to the news of deadly terror attacks in Paris on Friday night, in which at least 128 people were slain. Below, please find the full text of Fr. Lombardi, SJ’s statement, in English translation.
“Here in the Vatican we are following the terrible news from Paris. 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. 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 the homicidal hatred in all of its forms.”
Cardinal Vingt-Trois of Paris: Statement on terror attacks
The Archbishop of Paris, Cardinal André Vingt-Trois, has issued a statement condemning the attacks on his city, praising first responders, and urging unity in the wake of terror attacks that killed at least 128 people overnight. Please find the full text of Cardinal Vingt-Trois’ statement in English translation by Vatican Radio, below.
Message of Cardinal Vingt-Trois
Our city of Paris, our country, was hit last night with particular savagery and intensity. After the attacks of last January, after the attack in Beirut this week and many others in these past months, including in Nigeria and other African countries, our country knows anew the pain of grief and must face the barbarism spread by fanatical groups.
This morning I pray, and invite Catholics of Paris to pray, for those who were killed yesterday and for their families, for the injured and their loved ones and for those who are hard at work assisting them, for the police forces who face formidable challenges, and for our leaders and country, so that together we will remain in unity and peace of heart.
I ask the parishes of Paris to comply strictly with the measures issued by public authorities. I ask them to make today and tomorrow days of mourning and prayer. Sunday evening at 18.30 I will preside at Mass at Notre-Dame de Paris for the victims and their families and for our country; the bell of the cathedral will toll at 18.15. Catholic Television (KTO) will broadcast this Mass, allowing all who wish to join us.
Faced with the violence of men, may we receive the grace of a firm heart, without hatred. May the moderation, temperance and control that has been shown so far, be confirmed in the weeks and months to come; let no one indulge in panic or hatred. We ask that grace be the artisan of peace. We need never despair of peace if we build on justice.
+Cardinal Vingt-Trois, Archbishop of Paris