Speaking on the papal plane en route to Krakow, Poland, Pope Francis said: "the world is at war." This blunt statement released a day after radical Islamists in France killed a Catholic priest in front of the congregation.
During Rev. Jacques Hamel's morning mass in the Catholic Church in Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray, France, two men entered with weapons. They forced the 86-year-old priest to bow down. He was killed after attackers stabbed him repeatedly and slit his throat. The armed men also seriously injured one of the churchgoers.
French President Francois Hollande said the attackers acted in the name of ISIS. In fact, Amaq, ISIS' news agency, released a video on the Telegram messaging app, showing the Normandy attackers have allegiance to the group.
Despite the growing anti-Muslim sentiment after the recent brutal attacks in Germany and France, the Pope emphasized that he did not see the recent events as an attack on Christians.
The Pontiff stated, "the world is at war because it has lost peace." He also said we are living in the time where there are many kinds of conflicts, such as "war" over natural resources, war on poverty, on drugs and on preventable diseases.
Furthermore, the pope suggested there is an ongoing war between business interests and common people's aspirations, where most of the global corporations win.
When Pope Francis arrived in Poland for the World Youth Day, he asked the country's government to welcome migrants and refugees. He also said the world needs compassion to overcome fear and "achieve the greater good." Additionally, the Pontiff said the world needs a spirit of readiness to welcome those fleeing from war zones.
He urged politicians to do everything to help the poor and alleviate their suffering.
He concluded by saying that "life must always be welcomed and protected." He pointed out these two things should come together, and all people should respect life and care for it.
By looking at recent events, including the horrible massacre in Nice, a string of lesser attacks in German cities and the ongoing war in Syria, one may say the that the world is at war right now.
According to research from International Institute for Strategic Studies, more than 167,000 people died in armed conflicts last year. Most of this figure came from Syria, which accounted for 55,000.