Vatican firmly condemns US deaths, disrespect against religions
“The very serious attack organized against the United States diplomatic mission in Libya,” it said, “calls for the firmest possible condemnation on the part of the Holy See.”
“Nothing, in fact, can justify the activity of terrorist organizations and homicidal violence,” said Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, in a written statement released Sept. 13.
The U.S. ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens, and three staff members were killed during what appeared to be a pre-planned, sophisticated armed attack against the U.S. consulate in Benghazi Sept. 11.
U.S. officials said it was too soon to know whether the attack was related to the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States. Authorities were looking into those responsible for the raid, which according to witnesses, also involved the use of rocket-propelled grenades.
“Along with our sadness, mourning and prayers for the victims, we again express hope that, despite this tragedy, the international community may discover the most favorable ways to continue its commitment in favor of peace in Libya and the entire Middle East,” Father Lombardi said.
The statement came after an earlier Vatican communique decrying disrespect toward all religions and deploring all violence as unacceptable.
“Profound respect for the beliefs, texts, outstanding figures and symbols of the various religions are an essential precondition for the peaceful coexistence of peoples,” Father Lombardi said in a Sept. 12 statement. [More]