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Vatican Cardinal Decries ‘Barbaric Islamist Violence’ Behind Sri Lanka Attack

Vatican Cardinal Robert Sarah denounced the “barbaric Islamist violence” behind the Easter bombings in Sri Lanka Sunday.
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THOMAS D. WILLIAMS, PH.D.

Vatican Cardinal Robert Sarah denounced the “barbaric Islamist violence” behind the Easter bombings in Sri Lanka Sunday.

“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 to his followers.

On Monday, the Sri Lankan government identified a local Islamist terrorist group called National Thowfeek Jamaath as the force responsible for coordinated Easter Sunday suicide bomb attacks against Christians and luxury hotel guests.

The Easter Sunday bombings, which targeted Christians and westerners, killed at least 290 people with more than 500 injured.

Cardinal Sarah, whose native country the Republic of Guinea is 85 percent Muslim, has been critical of the naivete of many in the West who do not understand the danger of radical Islam.

In an interview last month, the cardinal condemned the Church’s push for migration into Europe both because of the condition in which migrants find themselves and for the dilution of Christian culture, which opens itself to an Islamic invasion.

“If Europe disappears, and with it the priceless values of the Old Continent, Islam will invade the world and we will completely change culture, anthropology, and moral vision,” he warned.

Cardinal Sarah, who heads up the Vatican’s liturgical department, has been called the “standard bearer for Catholic orthodoxy” and was the world’s youngest bishop in 1979, when Pope John Paul II named him for episcopal ordination at only 34 years of age.

He is now one of the most important cardinals in the Church, and his name often comes up on the short list of “papabile” — or papal candidates to eventually succeed Pope Francis.

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