'It's not right and not true to identify Islam with violence,' Pope Francis insists

Pope Francis warned against condemning the Islamic faith as violent because even the Catholic religion has its share of violence.

"I do not think it is right to identify Islam with violence. This is not right and it is not true," the 79-year-old Argentine pope told journalists, according to Catholic News Service.

Pope Francis greets the faithful as he arrives to the Campus Misericordiae during World Youth Day in Brzegi near Krakow, Poland July 31, 2016. | Reuters/Stefano Rellandini

The leader of the Roman Catholic Church spoke with reporters on the papal plane on his way back to the Vatican on Sunday after his visit to Kraków, Poland where he attended the five-day celebration of World Youth Day.

Pope Francis previously declared the world at war as he made his way to Poland following the news of the terrorist attack on a Catholic church in Normandy and the brutal murder of an 85-year-old French Catholic priest.

However, he clarified that the war he referred to did not mean a religious war but a war of interests since he believed that religions don't engage in wars.

Although the two young men who attacked the Catholic Church praised Allah after committing their crime, the pope veered away from confining extremism to Islam.

"One thing is true," he said, adding, "I believe that in almost all religions, there is always a small fundamentalist group. We have them, too."

He reminded them that fundamentalism and killing do not confine itself to murder by knives but that one can also kill with words as St. James warned. The pope also shifted attention to the crimes committed even by Catholics.

"I do not like to speak of Islamic violence because everyday when I look through the papers, I see violence here in Italy," he said. "And they are baptised Catholics. There are violent Catholics. If I speak of Islamic violence, I also have to speak of Catholic violence," the pope continued.

The pope made an unscheduled stop at the church of St. Francis of Assisi before he left Poland on Sunday. He prayed for peace and for God to touch the hearts of terrorists.

He also led the hundreds of thousands of Catholic youths to pray for the victims of war and urged them not be indifferent to the plight of the less fortunate during the World Youth Day celebration.