Pope condemns Russian school siege deaths

Pope John Paul has expressed outrage today over the killing of children in the Russian school hostage-taking, condemning “cruel fanaticism” and an “insane contempt” for their lives.

Pope John Paul has expressed outrage today over the killing of children in the Russian school hostage-taking, condemning “cruel fanaticism” and an “insane contempt” for their lives.

He said it was necessary to utter a “cry of pain” for all innocent children who are victims of the violence of adults.

The Pope had sent a condolence message to Russian authorities, but his remarks at his weekly general audience marked the first time he had spoken out personally on the tragedy.

Noting that today marks the Catholic feast day of the Nativity of Mary, John Paul said “looking at the child Mary, how can one not think of so many defenceless little ones in Beslan in Ossetia, victims of a barbarous kidnapping and tragically killed.”

“They were inside a school, a place where one learns the values which give a sense to history, to culture and the civilisation of peoples,” he said. “Instead they experienced hate and death, dark consequences of a cruel fanaticism and insane contempt for the human person.”

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