VATICAN CITY (CNS): Pope John Paul II has called the Madrid bombings a “horrendous crime” that had shaken the world by its barbarism.
The Pope made the comments as he addressed pilgrims, some of them waving Spanish flags, in St Peter’s Square on March 14.
The Pope, who sent a condolence telegram immediately after the March 11 attack, said he wanted to publicly express his condemnation of the “unjustifiable” terrorist act.
The 10 bombs on the Madrid train system exploded during the morning rush hour, killing about 200 people and wounding some 1500.
“This horrendous crime has shaken world public opinion. In the face of such barbarism, one remains deeply disturbed and asks oneself how the human soul could reach the point of conceiving such abominable deeds,” the Pope said.
He said he was encouraged at the strong show of public solidarity and anti-terrorist sentiment in Spain and other European countries in the wake of the bombings.
Authorities were still investigating the attack, but attention was focused on an extremist Islamic group from Morocco.