Pope condemns terrorism as attempt to sow division between religions

Pope Francis

Recent terrorist acts in Vienna and Nice are an attempt to undermine interfaith dialogue and cooperation, Pope Francis said on Wednesday.

During his weekly audience, Francis said increasingly cruel forms of terrorism were spreading in Europe, specifically mentioning the attacks in Austria and France.

The leader of the world’s 1.3 billion Catholics called them “deplorable events, which try to undermine, with violence and hatred, brotherly cooperation between religions.”

In Vienna, an attacker went on a shooting rampage on Monday, killing four people and injuring more than 20, in an attack for which Islamic State claimed responsibility.

Four days earlier, another man killed three people in a Nice church, in what French President Emmanuel Macron described as “a terrorist, Islamist attack.”

The pope’s Wednesday audience was the first in two months to be held with no public in attendance, due to tightened precautions against the corona virus.

In his introductory remarks, Francis urged people listening in via video conference to be “very careful” in following anti-virus rules set by politicians and health authorities.

The 83-year-old pope, however, has raised eyebrows for hardly ever using a face mask in public. He was not wearing one during the audience, held in the library of the Apostolic Palace.

About 10 priests were in attendance, all seated and distanced.

Source: GNA

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