Pope Francis sends condolences to victims of the latest terrorist attack in France
Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin sent a telegram of condolence on behalf of Pope Francis to Bishop Alain Planet of Carcassonne and Narbonne. In it, the Pope said he participates in prayer in the suffering of the families of the victims of last Friday’s terrorist attacks in Carcassonne and Tribes in Southern France., and with the wounded and their relatives.
Four people were killed and 15 injured in the attack carried out by 25-year-old Redouane Lakdim, of Moroccan descent. who had pledged allegiance to Islamic State. After hijacking a car, in the city of Carcassonne, killing one person and wounding another, Lakdim fled toward Thebes. There he took hostages in a supermarket and was finally shot by French police.
The Pope praised the ‘generous and heroic gesture’ of French police officer Lieutenant Colonel Arnaud Beltrame,“who gave his life in attempting to protect people.” Beltrame offered to take the place of a female hostage and was shot by the terrorist. He was married in the hospital just hours before he died.
Pope Francis repeated his condemnation of “blind violence” and invoked the Lord’s gift of peace as he blessed the afflicted families and all the French people.
Below is a translation of Pope Francis’ Telegram
Having learnt of the tragic attacks that took place in Carcassonne and Tribes, which left several victims, I express to you my sadness and entrust to God’s mercy the people who lost their lives, associating myself in prayer to the grief of their dear ones. I greet particularly the generous and heroic gesture of Lieutenant Colonel Arnaud Beltrame, who gave his life in attempting to protect people. I express my sympathy to the wounded and their families, as well as to all the persons touched by the tragedy, asking the Lord to grant them comfort and consolation. I condemn again such acts of blind violence, which cause so much suffering and, praying fervently to God for the gift of peace, I invoke upon the tested families and upon all the French the benefit of Divine Blessings.