News broke late last night and early into this morning that ISIS took responsibility for the recent bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in the United Kingdom where 22 were reported dead and at least 59 were injured. That last attack in Britain occurred in 2005. Europe has seen an uprise in the number of terrorist attacks. Germany and France have been the most notable. Major world leaders are now speaking out about what happened.
President Trump made his remarks in Israel. Israel is the second country on his first overseas trip as President. Now Pope Francis has spoken from Vatican City. The Pope sent a telegram this past Monday where he condemned the terrorist attack and expressed sadness over what happened on behalf of the Roman Catholic community.
In the telegram, it reads,
“His Holiness Pope Francis was deeply saddened to learn of the injury and tragic loss of life caused by the barbaric attack in Manchester, and he expresses his heartfelt solidarity with all those affected by this senseless act of violence. The Pope commends the generous efforts of the emergency and security personnel, and offers the assurance of his prayers for the injured, and for all who have died. Mindful in a particular way of those children and young people who have lost their lives, and of their grieving families, Pope Francis invokes God’s blessings of peace, healing and strength upon the nation.”
The final death totals have not been finalized but 22 are known to have died while over 60 are wounded. ISIS claimed responsibility in the early morning of Tuesday. It was a suicide bomber, 22-year-old, Salman Abedi, who blew himself up at the concert that led to the injuries and fatalities. A mode of attack that is very similar to other former terrorist attacks in Europe.
When ISIS claimed responsibility they said they targeted the pop concert because it was a,
“gathering of the Crusaders in the British city of Manchester.”
The most horrifying part of their statements is when their press release referred to the young children in attendance as “worshippers of the cross” and referenced the attacker as “a soldier of the Khalifa.” Prime Minister Theresa May has said they have figured out the identity of the attacker but will not be releasing it yet. She denounced the attack as one of the worst attacks that they have experienced in the United Kingdom.
Pope Francis was not the only religious figure to speak out against the attacks. Bishop John Arnold, of Salford, the Catholic diocese located in Manchester where the attack took place, said,
“We must all commit ourselves to working together, in every way, to help the victims and their families and to build and strengthen our community solidarity.”
Cardinal Vincent Nicholas of the Archdiocese of Westminster in London sent a letter to Arnold after the attack where he said,
“It was with great sorrow that I heard the media reports of last night’s atrocity, in Manchester,” he said. “May God welcome into His merciful presence all who have died. May God turn the hearts of all who commit evil to a true understanding of His desire and intention for humanity.”
This attack should be an outrage to all religions throughout the world, Christians, Jews, and Muslims. As President Trump said in Saudi Arabia, this is a fight we must work together to battle. The President said,
“this is not a battle between different faiths, different sects, or different civilizations. This is a battle between barbaric criminals who seek to obliterate human life, and decent people of all religions who seek to protect it. If we do not stand in uniform condemnation of this killing, then we not only will be judged by our people, not only will we be judged by history, but we will be judged by God.
America is a sovereign nation and our first priority is always the safety and security of our citizens. We are not here to lecture — we are not here to tell other people how to live, what to do, who to be, or how to worship. Instead, we are here to offer partnership — based on shared interests and values — to pursue a better future for us all.”
Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Manchester, England.