Pope Francis called for a universal condemnation of the “inhuman” suicide bombings that left hundreds dead and wounded in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday.
“I would hope that all will condemn these inhuman terrorist acts, which are never justifiable,” the pope told crowds gathered in Saint Peter’s Square for his Regina Caeli message Monday, adding that he is praying for “the great many victims and wounded” while also asking all nations to “not hesitate to offer all the assistance necessary to that dear nation.”
Francis had already expressed his grief over the attack on Sunday, telling the 70,000 pilgrims and tourists that came to hear his Easter message that he had just “learned with sadness and pain of the news of the grave attacks, that precisely today, on Easter, brought mourning and pain to churches and other places where people were gathered in Sri Lanka.”
“I wish to express my affectionate closeness to the Christian community, struck while it was gathered in prayer, and to all the victims of this cruel violence,” he said.
“I entrust to the Lord those who have tragically died and I pray for the wounded and for all those who are suffering as a result of this dramatic event,” he said.
As he has done on the occasions of other similar attacks, the pope refrained from mentioning that the bombings were the result of Islamic terrorism, whose existence he has denied.
While the pope kept silence regarding the identity of the perpetrators of the attacks, another Vatican cardinal spoke out strongly, calling out the radical Islamist ideology that motivated the targeted bombings.
The head of the Vatican’s liturgical department, Cardinal Robert Sarah, denounced the “barbaric Islamist violence” behind the Easter attacks.
“As we celebrate the resurrection of the son of God, the terrible attacks in Sri Lanka once again show how the followers of Christ are all over the world the victims of wild and foolish deeds,” wrote the Guinean cardinal, the highest-ranking African prelate in the Catholic Church.
“I condemn this barbaric Islamist violence. Pray,” he wrote in a tweet.
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