Private: Pope Francis remembers terrorist attack in France in 2016: “Terrorism is cowardly”

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Broadcast: Part no re-use after 17:00GMT on September 30, 2023. Digital: Part no re-use after 17:00GMT on September 30, 2023. For Rome Reports customers only.

At the Vélodrome Stadium, Pope Francis made a few rounds in the Popemobile, greeting the thousands of pilgrims waiting for Mass.

In his homily, the Pope reflected on Mary visiting her cousin, St. Elizabeth, recalling that St. John leaped in her womb after hearing Mary's greeting. Pope Francis encouraged everyone to have a faith that leads them to leaping in the face of life, that is to have a warm, compassionate heart.

This is the opposite of a flat, cold heart, accustomed to the quiet life, which is enclosed in indifference and becomes impermeable. Such a heart becomes hardened and insensitive to everything and everyone, even to the tragic discarding of human life, which is seen today in the rejection of many immigrants, of countless unborn children and abandoned elderly people.

The Pope also emphasized the need to care for one's neighbors in the simple, every day actions of life. He stressed the need to be open to others—challenging Europe not to remain passive in responding to the needs of the most vulnerable and fragile.

Our major cities and many European countries like France, where different cultures and religions coexist, are a strong force against the excesses of individualism, selfishness and rejection that generate loneliness and indifference.

Before the final blessing, the Pope remembered those who have lost their lives in terrorist attacks, particularly one in France in 2016 where 86 people were killed.

I would like to greet the brothers and sisters who came from Nice, accompanied by the Bishop and the Mayor and survivors of the tremendous attack of July 14, 2016. We address a prayerful remembrance to those who lost their lives in that tragedy.
Terrorism is cowardly.

After the Mass, Pope Francis traveled to Marseille International Airport to meet privately with President Macron one last time. He then boarded the plane for the 90 minute flight back to Rome.


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