Pope Francis sends a letter to a Jewish centre in Argentina to commemorate the 25th anniversary of a terrorist bombing that left 85 people dead and hundreds wounded.
“25 years have passed since the AMIA tragedy” writes Pope Francis, and every single 18 July “I keep in my heart the families of the victims, both Jews and Christians.”
In a letter to the AMIA Jewish centre in Buenos Aires, whose headquarters were destroyed by a terror attack on 18 July 1994 that killed 85 people and wounded over 200 others, the Pope decried “the madness of destroying lives and hopes in the name of religion” and the “blasphemous use of the name of God.”
“We know well that it is not religion that incites and leads to war, but the darkness in the hearts of those who commit irrational acts,” he said.
Assuring the families of the victims that he prays to God for the eternal rest of those who lost their lives in this act of madness, the Pope said “I also pray for those who survived the explosion that wounded them in their bodies and in their souls.”
And referring to the “third world war being fought piecemeal,” the Pope said this madness is certainly not limited to Argentina, ”it tramples on lives and on the future” everywhere.
“It knows no boundaries and shows its cruel face from East to West; it transforms brides into widows, sons and daughters into orphans – and all this in the name of religion, making blasphemous use of God’s name,” he said.
Pope Francis concluded inviting all believers to nurture brotherhood, a vocation to which God calls each of us:
“God has called us to live together as brothers, and this brotherhood unites us well beyond any geographical or ideological limits. Together we make up the great human family; we must pass this awareness of being brothers, together with the values of respect and tolerance, to future generations. God has created us equal in rights, but also in duties and dignity. For him, peace must not only be our right, its construction must be our obligation. In this commemoration of the 25th anniversary [of the attack] I am with you and I pray with you.”
With thanks to Vatican News and Linda Bordoni, where this article originally appeared.