Pope and bishops urge prayers for Paris

Scores have been killed in numerous attacks across the city of Paris tonight. It is not clear tonight what group may be responsible for the attacks or even if they have authorship outside the borders of France. Reacting to the carnage in Paris, the Holy See called for a united and decisive response.

The Vatican press office issued the following statement: "Here in the Vatican we are following the terrible news from Paris. We are shocked by this new manifestation of maddening, terrorist violence and hatred which we condemn in the most radical way together with the Pope and all those who love peace. We pray for the victims and the wounded, and for all the French people. This is an attack on peace for all humanity, and it requires a decisive, supportive response on the part of all of us as we counter the spread the homicidal hatred in all of its forms."

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The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has not issued a formal statement but called for prayers via its twitter account.

Many individual bishops around the nation and the world urged prayers for the victims (on Twitter via #PrayForParis).

President Obama condemned the attacks and vowed that the United States would stand with its "oldest ally."

"Once again, we’ve seen an outrageous attempt to terrorize innocent civilians," he said. "This is an attack not just on Paris, it’s an attack not just on the people of France, but this is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values that we share.

"We stand prepared and ready to provide whatever assistance that the government and the people of France need to respond. France is our oldest ally. The French people have stood shoulder to shoulder with the United States time and again. And we want to be very clear that we stand together with them in the fight against terrorism and extremism."

The President added, "Those who think that they can terrorize the people of France or the values that they stand for are wrong. The American people draw strength from the French people’s commitment to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness.

"We are reminded in this time of tragedy that the bonds of liberté and égalité and fraternité are not only values that the French people care so deeply about, but they are values that we share. And those values are going to endure far beyond any act of terrorism or the hateful vision of those who perpetrated the crimes this evening."

House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement, “Our first thoughts tonight are for those lost and those risking their lives to save others. We are united and unbowed in our support for the French people. It will take time to grasp the scale of this horror, but there is one thing we already know. Terror will not prevail. We will.”

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
Carlos Orozco
1 year 11 months ago
Terror has not limited itself to the ME and has come back (maybe literally) to bite a hand that feeds it. The last two French presidents have been strong advocates of the NATO/Arab monarchs/Israeli military adventures in the ME, targeting the mostly secular dictators of Libya and Syria. The results of these true war crimes are evident for all to see. The NEW terror attacks have to awaken France as to demand an end to all open or covert support for "moderate" and extremist rebels in war-torn Syria. Can the French recognize that the policies designed to be executed by Hollande are at the very least partly responsible for the Paris massacre? That has not happened in the US and, most likely, there will be a double-down on a war of aggression that as one of its consequences has decimated Christians. As France's "Charles De Gaulle" nuclear-armed aircraft carrier departed toward the proximity of Syria (just hours before the terrorist attacks), people of good faith must consider if taking down Bashar al-Assad is so important as to risk conflict with Russia for the sake of continual support of these same "moderate" terrorists that have acted in Paris.

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