Pope Francis Condemns ‘Barbarous Murder’ of Priest in French Church

Pope Francis delivers his speech at Copacabana beach to participate in a re-enactment of the 14 Stations of the Cross -- scenes of Jesus carrying the cross to his crucifixion -- in Rio de Janeiro, on July 26, 2013.

In a Vatican statement Tuesday, Pope Francis announced his “most radical condemnation” of the terrorist attack, in which two men slit the throat of a priest during morning Mass and took several other people hostage, seriously wounding one of them.

In the written statement sent to Breitbart News, papal spokesman Father Federico Lombardi, said that the Holy See was “shocked” by this latest news, which is added to a whole series of violent attacks in recent days, “creating immense sorrow and worry.”

Lombardi said that the Pope “shares in the sorrow and horror over this absurd violence,” offering his “most radical condemnation” of the act as well as his prayers for the victims.

The Holy See is following the situation and awaiting further information to better understand what has happened, Lombardi noted.

“We are particularly struck because this horrible violence took place within a church, a sacred place in which God’s love is preached, with the barbarous murder of a priest and the involvement of the faithful,” Lombardi said.

According to reports, the attackers shouted Islamist slogans including “Jihad” as they entered the church. One source claims that the two assailants were “well known to the police” for acts of “radicalization.” The case is now being investigated by France’s counterterrorism forces.

The spokesman said that the Pope assured his closeness to the local community, as well as the Church and all the people of France.

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