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L'Osservatore Romano

On Flight to Poland, Pope Comments on French Priest Killed

During In-Flight Presser, Francis Says ‘World Is at War, But Not of Religion, But for Power’

In the wake of ISIS killing elderly French priest, Fr. Jacques Hamel, celebrating Mass in a Church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray in Normandy, Pope Francis has commented that the world is at war, but “not a war of religion, but for power.”

According to Vatican Radio, as the papal flight headed from Rome toward the Polish city of Krakow, Francis commented on the horrific attack.

“There is one word I wish to say to clarify,” he said,” When I speak about ‘war’ I’m speaking about a war for real, not a ‘war of religions.’

“It is a war about [economic] interests, money, natural resources and the domination of peoples.”

“All religions desire peace,” the Pope affirmed, while lamenting, “Other people want war.”

Related: A Look at How the Holy Father Has Referred to Global Violence as a ‘Third World War Fought Piecemeal’

The Holy Father began his remarks noting that many nowadays are repeating the word “insecurity,” but the real word to be used instead, he said, is “war.”

“The world is at war, a piecemeal war. There was the 1914 war with its methods, then the 1939-45 one and now this one.”

“It is not very organic [structured], but it is organized, it is war.  This saintly priest, killed right at the moment when he was offering prayers for peace.  He is one victim, but how many Christians, how many innocent people, how many children… Let’s think about Nigeria, for example.  We say, well, that is Africa!  It’s war.”

“We’re not frightened to tell the truth,” he added, “the world is at war because it has lost (sight) of peace.”

The Holy Father also discussed the upcoming World Youth Day gathering in Poland, which is taking place in Krakow and had a welcoming Mass led by the city’s archbishop, Cardinal Dziwisz, on Tuesday evening.

“Young people,” Francis said, “always tell us to have hope.  We’re hoping that young people can tell us something that gives us a bit more hope at this time.”

The Holy Father also expressed his thanks to those who expressed their condolences for the martyred priest, especially to French President Francois Hollande, who called by telephone to speak to the Argentine Pontiff “like a brother.”

About Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is a Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in four languages). She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, at times from the papal flight, and has done television and radio commentary, including for Vatican Radio and BBC. She is a contributor to National Catholic Register, UK Catholic Herald, Our Sunday Visitor, Inside the Vatican, and other Catholic news outlets. She has also collaborated with the Vatican in various projects, including an internship at the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, and is a collaborator with NBC Universal, NBC News, Euronews, EWTN and Salt & Light. For 'The Other Francis': https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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