VATICAN CITY (CNS): Pope John Paul II has condemned separate terrorist acts in Russia and Spain and appealed for an end to Christian-Muslim violence in Indonesia.
“I hope with all my heart that every form of violence, the source of mourning and suffering, ceases and that hearts turn toward thoughts of intense and peaceful co-existence,” he said on August 9 at the end of his weekly general audience in St Peter’s Square.
Referring to a bomb attack in central Moscow on August 8 which killed at least eight people, the Pope expressed “my strongest condemnation for this serious attack, while I assure my solidarity, which I accompany with prayer”.
Russian police blamed Chechen rebels for the rush-hour blast that struck commuters in a pedestrian underpass. The rebels, waging a guerrilla war against Russian troops in the Caucasus region, were also blamed for last year’s wave of Russian apartment bombings that killed hundreds of people.
The Pope also condemned a fresh series of bomb blasts across Spain attributed to the Basque separatist group ETA.
He said he extended his prayers “to the victims of the attacks which, unfortunately, continue in Spain”.