LES COMBES, Italy, JULY 21, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI described the July 7 terrorist attacks in London as "irrational," and clarified that they are not indicative of a "clash of civilizations."

The Pope expressed these thoughts Wednesday afternoon, when he returned from an outing to the Alpine chalet in Les Combes, where he is vacationing. He made his comments before today's new rounds of attacks in London.

The Holy Father greeted awaiting journalists and replied to a question about the attacks in the British capital.

"Terrorism is irrational," he said. "There is no clash of civilizations, but small groups of fanatics."

In this context, "the dialogue between religions which have Abraham as a Father is important," he said. "We must ask God to reinforce this will and hope that it will be much stronger than violence."

Next month Benedict XVI is scheduled to meet with Muslim representatives in Germany and visit Cologne's synagogue, as part of his trip for World Youth Day.


The journalists also asked the Holy Father how he is spending these days of rest in the Italian Alps, which will end on July 28.

"They are wonderful holidays. Everything here is beautiful; it is a paradise," replied the Pope.

Taking advantage of the good weather this morning, Benedict XVI left about 9:30 on an excursion to Mont Blanc, the highest peak in Europe.

The Pope attended a Mass, at which he did not preside, and then paused to contemplate the scenery. He returned to the chalet around 12:30 p.m.