France’s Catholic leaders respond to Aude attacks

Four people were killed and sixteen injured in Carcassonne and Trèbes (Aude) during a series of attacks claimed by Daech and carried out by a single person, who was later killed by police.

The Bishop of Carcassonne Alain Planet led Mass following the attacks, where he prayed for the victims. Planet published a brief statement on the diocese website: “Tragic events have occurred within our Department. The Catholic community naturally thinks of the victims and their families. It extends its profound sympathy and keeps them in its prayers. It shares the same feeling of gratitude and admiration that all our citizens have for the police who put an end to this terrible situation and the senior officers in the gendarmerie who provided a perfect example of dedication. This time is for prayer and for compassion. May such actions allow us to find the courage to rebuild a society in which such events would no longer be possible. In all the Masses of Palm Sunday and the Passion of the Lord, we will pray for this and for the victims of this attack.”

Dominique Lebrun, the Archbishop of Rouen, also addressed the attacks, saying: “Catholics of the Rouen diocese look to Aude where the cruelty of men has struck.” He expressed his “profound solidarity at a moment where we celebrate the Passion and the death of Jesus.”

“Anger and incomprehension pierce our hearts, as happens each time we think of barbaric acts committed throughout the world,” Lebrun wrote.

“A companion of Jesus drew his sword to defend him. Jesus used a more powerful weapon, his love and his mercy,” he continued, praising the “heroic” work of the police. “We ask, above all, that peace, at the heart of Father Jacques Hamel’s message, triumphs. It is the beginning of our holy week. May it occur throughout the world.”


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