Pope issues 'strongest condemnation' of attack in France

Rome — Pope Francis has expressed the "strongest condemnation" of the terror attack Wednesday in France in which 10 staff members of a satirical magazine and two policeman were killed.

Vatican spokesman Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi issued the following statement on behalf of the pope and the Vatican late in the evening:

The Holy Father expresses the strongest condemnation for the horrific attack that afflicted the city of Paris this morning with a high number of victims, sowing death, throwing the entire French society into consternation, and deeply upsetting all peace loving people, well beyond the confines of France.

Pope Francis joins in prayers for the suffering of the wounded and the families of the deceased and calls upon all to oppose by all means the spread of hatred and all forms of violence, both physical and moral, which destroys human life, violates the dignity of the person, radically undermines 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, is never justifiable; the life and dignity of all are guaranteed and protected firmly, any incitement to hatred be refused, respect cultivated.

The Pope expresses his closeness, his spiritual solidarity and support for all those who, according to their different responsibilities, continue to work consistently for peace, justice and the law, to heal the deep sources and the causes of hatred, in this painful and tragic moment, in France and around the world marked by tensions and violence.

The translation of the statement from Italian was first made by the news agency ZENIT and then slightly edited by NCR.

[Joshua J. McElwee is NCR Vatican correspondent. His email address is jmcelwee@ncronline.org. Follow him on Twitter: @joshjmac.]

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