ROME — Vatican Cardinal Robert Sarah denounced Islamism Thursday following a lethal terror attack in a French church, calling it a “monstrous fanaticism.”
“Islamism is a monstrous fanaticism which must be battled with force and determination,” wrote the Guinean cardinal, who leads the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship, invoking his own experience as an African.
“It will not stop its war. Unfortunately, we Africans know this only too well,” the cardinal wrote on Twitter. “The barbarians are always the enemies of peace.”
“The West, today France, must understand this. Let us pray,” he said.
France Shuts Paris Mosque that Shared Fatwa Call Against Beheaded Teacher https://t.co/zcRnwoyHQc
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) October 20, 2020
On Thursday morning, a Muslim man entered the Notre Dame Basilica in Nice armed with a knife, and proceeded to kill three people, including the church sacristan. Shouting “Allahu akbar” as he attacked his victims, the assailant was eventually apprehended by French police and is now in the hospital with gunshot wounds sustained during the encounter.
France’s national antiterrorist prosecution announced the opening of an investigation for “assassination and attempted assassination in connection with a terrorist enterprise” and “criminal terrorist association,” French media reported.
The mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, wrote on Twitter that all indications are that the incident was, in fact, a terrorist attack.
For his part, Pope Francis also expressed his closeness to the Catholic community of Nice, joining “in mourning after the attack which sowed death in a place of prayer and consolation.”
“I pray for the victims, for their families and for the beloved French people, so that they can respond to evil with good,” he also wrote on Twitter.
On Thursday, the pontiff sent a telegram to the Catholic bishop of Nice, saying he condemned “in the most forceful way such violent acts of terror.”