Pope calls London bombings 'barbaric acts against humanity'

Pope Benedict XVI described the string of bombings that struck central London yesterday as "barbaric acts against humanity", and said his prayers were with victims and their families.

Catholic News Service reports that the Holy Father said he was offering "fervent prayers" for all those affected by explosions that hit London's subway and bus system during the morning peak hour (around 5:50 pm Sydney time).

In a telegram sent by the Vatican's secretary of state, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, to Cardinal Cormac-Murphy O'Connor of Westminster, Pope Benedict said his thoughts and prayers were with the victims, families of the injured and "all those who mourn."

The Holy Father invoked "the consolation that only God can give in such circumstances" to all the people of Great Britain. He asked the cardinal "to convey to the families of the injured his spiritual closeness at this time of grief."

Meanwhile, fresh from a private audience with Pope Benedict, Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern condemned the London attacks as "a black mark on society." He was told of the emergency as he was leaving the Vatican after his audience with the pope.

Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor was in Rome at the time, but said he would be returning to London later in the day.

"I too pray for all those who have suffered in this terrible atrocity and will offer Mass tomorrow evening at 5.30 in Westminster Cathedral for the victims and their families," he said in a statement released by his Public Affairs Office.

On hearing the news of the terrorists blasts in London, Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Birmingham, said: "My heart goes out to everyone caught up in these outrageous attacks.

Archbishop Nichols, who served as an auxiliary bishop of London from 1992 to 2000, also offered prayers for the injured.

"For many years, (as) a bishop in North London, I, too, traveled every day on these tubes and share the deep sense of shock and revulsion of what has happened. May God give strength, determination and consolation to all of us at this time," he said.

Cardinal Keith O'Brien, president of the Bishops' Conference of Scotland, said, "Like everyone else, I am deeply shocked at the scenes of violence, panic and confusion unfolding before our eyes today.

The statements came after a series of blasts rocked the London transportation system. Although the flow of information was hampered by chaos and jammed phone lines, several hours after the blasts officials said at least 12 people were killed and more than a hundred were injured.

Pope decries London bombings as 'barbaric acts against humanity' (Catholic News Service 7/7/05)
Cardinal deplores attacks on London's innocent (Catholic Church in England and Wales 7/7/05)

London attacks: Barbaric act against humanity (Vatican Information Service 7/7/05)
Pope Benedict XVI deplores 'terrorist acts' in London as 'barbaric acts against humanity' (Associated Press/news-star.com 7/7/05)
World leaders condemn terror attacks on London (ABC Radio Australia 7/7/05)
London attacks are "barbaric acts against humanity", says Pope (AsiaNews.it 7/7/05)
Dozens Killed in "London Terrorist Attacks" (BosNEwsLife 7/7/05)
Statement by Archbishop Kelly on London bombings (Catholic Church in England and Wales 7/7/05)
Statement from Archbishop Vincent Nichols on the blasts in London (Catholic Church in England and Wales 7/7/05)
Statement from Canon Robert Corrigan, Dean of Clifton Cathedral, Pembroke Road, Bristol (Catholic Church in England and Wales 7/7/05)
A message from Pope Benedict XVI sent to Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor (Catholic Church in England and Wales 7/7/05)
Statement by the Most Reverend Kevin McDonald Archbishop of Southwark on the London explosions (Catholic Church in England and Wales 7/7/05)
Statement from the Bishop of Leeds (Catholic Church in England and Wales 7/7/05)
Letter to priests of the Lancaster Diocese from Bishop Pat O'Donoghue (Catholic Church in England and Wales 7/7/05)
Statement from Rt Rev Patrick O'Donoghue, Bishop of Lancaster, on being told about the terrorist attack on London (Catholic Church in England and Wales 7/7/05)
Statement from Archbishop Seán Brady, Primate of All Ireland (Catholic Communications Ireland 7/7/05)
Archbishop Martin calls for prayers for victims of London attacks (Catholic Communications Ireland 7/7/05)
Pope calls London blasts 'barbaric acts against humanity' (Catholic News Agency 7/7/05)
Catholic leaders express sympathy, shock at London attacks (Catholic News Agency 7/7/05)
Masses, prayer vigils scheduled across Britain for bombing victims (Catholic News Agency 7/7/05)
Churches Respond to London Tube Explosion with Prayers & Solidarity (Christian Today 7/7/05)
Benedict XVI condemns London terror bombing (Catholic World News 7/7/05)
Joint statement from Christians and Muslims in Britain (Independent Catholic News 7/7/05)
London, blasts: Pope expresses "grief and closeness" (Missionary Service News Agency 7/7/05)
Muslim, Christian and Jewish leaders condemn attacks (London Times 7/7/05)
Requiem Mass at Clifton Cathedral Following London Terror Attacks (The Universe 7/7/05)
Pope Benedict XVI decries London bombings (The Universe 7/7/05)
Bishops condemn attacks on London (The Universe 7/7/05)

Pope receives annual Peter's Pence donation (Vatican Information Service 7/7/05)
Pope asks Poles to pray for beatification cause (Irish Times 6/7/05)
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Pope says God's plan always has been to save people from sin (Catholic News Service 6/7/05)
Pope mulls ecumenical summit in Istanbul (Catholic World News 7/7/05)
Irish premier, Pontiff discuss Europe, Northern Ireland, papal trip (Catholic World News 7/7/05)
Pope thanks organizers of Peter's Pence collection (Catholic World News 7/7/05)
Pope says God's plan always has been to save people from sin (The Universe 7/7/05)
Pope says faithful must take God's message to all people (The Universe 7/7/05)
From Eternity We Are Before God's Eyes, Says Pope (Zenit 6/7/05)
Pope Asks Prayers for John Paul II's Beatification (Zenit 6/7/05)
John Paul II Wrote Letter to His Attacker (Zenit 6/7/05)
Commentary on Canticle in Ephesians 1:3-14 (Zenit 6/7/05)

8 Jul 2005