Pope Francis: World is At War, But It's Not a War of Religions

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On the papal plane to Krakow, Pope Francis has stressed that the world is at war, but it is not a "war of religions." 

Asked about the slaying of 85-year-old Father Jacques Hamel in a Normandy church on Tuesday, the Pope replied: "The real word is war...yes, it's war. This holy priest died at the very moment he was offering a prayer for all the Church."

He said that "for some time the world has been in piecemeal war", but added. "This is a war."

"There was one in 1914, then that from 1939 to 1945. In the world now there's this. Perhaps it is not so organic, so organized," he said.

Recalling the murder of Father Hamel, the Pope also remembered the "many Christians", the "many innocent people, many children" who have also lost their lives. "We think of Nigeria, but that is Africa, as if it's not important to anyone... that we put in parentheses."

"It is war: we are not afraid to say this truth," the Pope continued. "The world is at war because it has lost the peace. Now we hope that young people tell us something and give us hope right now."

The Pope then thanked those who have offered their condolences and "especially the French president who called me like a brother."

He closed his brief remarks by saying he wanted to "clarify one thing: when I talk about war, I'm serious but not a war of religions. There is war for money, for resources, for nature, for dominion. This is war. Some may think it's a religious war? No. All religions want peace. Others want war. Got it?" 

Pope Francis arrived in Krakow this afternoon at the start of a five day visit to Poland and World Youth Day.