Pope Francis said on Saturday he was “shaken” by what he described as the “inhuman” attacks on a string of Paris venues which left at least 128 people dead.
“I am shaken, I don’t understand these things, done by human beings… There cannot be justification, religious or human. It’s inhuman,” an emotional pontiff said during a telephone interview with TG2000 television.
Grappling to find the right words, the Pope added: “I am with all those with suffer, and with France, which I love so much.”
Earlier, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi addressed concerns about safety for pilgrims heading to Rome for the “Holy Year of Mercy,” designated by the Pope, which is due to start on November 8.
Millions of Christians are expected to travel to the Holy See.
“These murderers, possessed by a crazed hatred, are justly called terrorists because they want to spread terror,” Lombadi said.
“If we let ourselves be scared, they will have attained their main objective,” he said, calling on followers to show “courage and resist the temptation of fear.”