We pray with Pope Francis, who, in a telegram to Cardinal André Vingt-Trois, the Archbishop of Paris, stated he was joined in prayer with the suffering of families affected by the drama and the pain of the French people. His message said he was asking God “to inspire thoughts of peace and solidarity in all”. Yesterday, at his weekly Angelus address to pilgrims in St Peter’s Square, the Pope said Friday’s events had shocked not only France, but the whole world. “The way of violence and hatred does not resolve the problems of humanity,” he said, adding that the use of God’s name to justify violence is blasphemy.
The Director of the Holy See’s Press Office, Father Federico Lombardi SJ, warned against fear in the aftermath of the terrorism in Paris, saying that the Year of Mercy – due to start on 8 December – was even more necessary. “We must go on living by building peace and mutual trust,” he told Vatican Radio. “So I would say that the Jubilee of Mercy shows itself even more necessary. A message of mercy, that love of God which leads to mutual love and reconciliation. This is precisely the answer we must give in times of temptation and mistrust.” The message contained in the Year of Mercy should make us capable of building bridges, said Fr Lombardi, “and – in spite of everything – to have the courage of love”.