01/08/2015, 00.00
VATICAN
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Pope celebrates Mass for Paris attack victims

Yesterday's attack "brings to mind so much cruelty - human cruelty - so much terrorism, both isolated [incidents of] terrorism and of state terrorism," the pope said, adding, "of how much cruelty is man capable!" Hence, "We pray, in this Mass, for the victims of this cruelty - so many of them - and we pray also for the perpetrators of such cruelty, that the Lord might change their heart."

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - This morning, Pope Francis celebrated a Mass in Santa Marta for the victims of yesterday's attack in Paris. Speaking during the service, the Holy Father said, Wednesday's "terror attack in Paris brings to mind so much cruelty - human cruelty - so much terrorism, both isolated [incidents of] terrorism and of state terrorism," wondering "of how much cruelty is man capable!" The Holy Father added, "We pray, in this Mass, for the victims of this cruelty - so many of them - and we pray also for the perpetrators of such cruelty, that the Lord might change their heart."

In a telegram signed by Secretary of State of the Holy See, Card Pietro Parolin, to Card Vingt-Trois, archbishop of Paris, the prelate said, "Having learned of the terrible attack in Paris at the headquarters of Charlie Hebdo, which claimed so many victims, His Holiness Pope Francis joins in prayer with the pain of the bereaved families and the sadness of all the French. He entrusts the victims to God, full of mercy, praying that He might welcome them into His light. The Holy Father expresses his deepest sympathy to the injured and to their families, asking the Lord to give them comfort and consolation in their ordeal. The Holy Father reiterates his condemnation of the violence, which generates so much suffering, and, imploring God to give the gift of peace, he assures the affected families and all the French the benefit of divine blessings."

The Holy Father had already expressed yesterday his "strongest condemnation for the horrific attack that marred the city of Paris with a high number of victims [Wednesday] morning, sowing death, throwing into dismay the whole of French society, [and] deeply disturbing all peace-loving people, far beyond the borders of France.

"Pope Francis," said Vatican Press Office Director Fr Federico Lombardi, "participates in prayer for the sufferings of the wounded and the families of the dead. He calls upon all to oppose by all means the spread of hatred and of all forms of violence, physical and moral, which destroy human life, which violate the dignity of people, which radically undermines the fundamental good of peaceful coexistence between individuals and peoples regardless of their differences of nationality, religion and culture.

"Whatever may be the motivation, homicidal violence is abominable. It is never justifiable. The life and dignity of all are to be guaranteed and protected with decision. Every incitement to hatred should be refuted. Respect must be 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 right, to heal at their depths the sources and causes of hatred, at this moment painful and dramatic, in France and in every part of the world marked by tensions and violence."

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