Pope Francis said Wednesday that “the world is at war” as he addressed the slaying of a Catholic priest by radical Islamists in France, but he stressed it was not a war of religion.
The killing of the priest — by two attackers who struck in the name of ISIS — is the latest terror atrocity to roil Europe in recent weeks.
On Wednesday ISIS’ media wing, Amaq, posted a video on the Telegram messaging app that showed the two attackers pledging allegiance to the terror group.
Speaking on the papal plane en route to Krakow, Poland, for World Youth Day celebrations, Francis said the world had been in “a piecemeal war” for some time.
He said Tuesday’s killing of the Rev. Jacques Hamel, 86, in St.-Etienne-du-Rouvray, France, was one casualty in this conflict.
“The world is at war because it has lost peace,” he said.
“There is a war of interest, there is a war for money, a war for natural resources, a war to dominate people,” he continued.
“Some might think it is war of religion. It is not. All religions want peace. Others want war.”
Security services stretched
French President Francois Hollande said Tuesday that the attackers acted in the name of ISIS, and Amaq released a statement, posted by the group’s supporters, claiming the Normandy attackers were the terror outfit’s “soldiers.”
CNN has not independently confirmed the claim, and no evidence has surfaced showing that ISIS had a planning role in the attacks.
Coming less than two weeks after the Bastille Day terror attack that left 84 people dead in Nice, France, the slaying has fueled public anger and highlighted apparent shortcomings in the French government’s ability to respond to the domestic jihadist threat.
One attacker, Adel Kermiche, had been flagged as a radicalized Islamist and was under house arrest at the time of the attack, Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said.