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Using God's name to justify violence is blasphemy - Pope Francis

Pope Francis today, once again condemned the violence and hatred behind the terror attacks in France which left 129 people dead and several hundred others injured. Speaking to the crowds gathered in St Peter's Square for his weekly Angelus address, the Pope said he wished to express his deepest condolences to the French President and especially to all those whose family members were killed or wounded in the multiple attacks on Friday night.

Pope Francis said such barbarity leaves us stunned as we wonder how human hearts can think up and carry out such atrocities which "have shocked not only France but the whole world".

The Pope stressed again that "the way of violence and hatred does not resolve the problems of humanity", adding that whoever uses God's name to justify that path is guilty of blasphemy.

Pope Francis invited all those listening to his words to join him in prayer, entrusting to God's mercy the innocent victims of this tragedy. Leading the faithful in the recitation of the Hail Mary, he prayed that Mary, the Mother of Mercy, would inspire all our hearts with wisdom and peace.

In a telephone interview on Saturday with the Italian Bishops' Conference official television network - TV2000 - Pope Francis said the attacks were "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."

Source: Vatican Radio


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