Once he had finished his general audience today, Pope Benedict condemned "in the strongest terms" the recent murders of two British soldiers and a policeman in Northern Ireland, calling them "abominable acts of terrorism."
"It was with deep sorrow that I learned of the murders of two young British soldiers and a policeman in Northern Ireland," the Pope said as he spoke about the killings carried out by Irish Republican splinter groups. The attack on the soldiers occurred on Saturday at their barracks in Massereene and the Continuity IRA claimed the murder of the policeman, Stephen Carroll, 48, in Craigavon on Monday.
The Holy Father said today that he wants to "assure the families of the victims and the injured of my spiritual closeness.
"I condemn in the strongest terms these abominable acts of terrorism which, apart from desecrating human life, seriously endanger the ongoing peace process in Northern Ireland and risk destroying the great hopes generated by this process in the region and throughout the world."
"I ask the Lord that no one will again give in to the horrendous temptation of violence and that all will increase their efforts to continue building – through the patient effort of dialogue – a peaceful, just and reconciled society," Benedict XVI said.