Pope Francis declared that the world is at war after Tuesday's terrorist attack on a Catholic church in Normandy that led to the killing of an 85-year-old French priest.
The Vatican pope delivered his statement to reporters he greeted on the papal plane as he traveled to KrakÃ³w, Poland to celebrate the World Youth Day.
"It's war, we don't have to be afraid to say this," said the 79-year-old Roman Catholic leader, as reported by the Catholic Herald.
He then clarified his statement on war as "a war of interests, for money, resources."
"I am not speaking of a war of religions," he said. "Religions don't want war. The others want war."
The Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) terrorist group claimed responsibility for its first church attack as two men interrupted a Tuesday mass service at the church in Saint-Ã‰tienne-du-Rouvray near Rouen, Normandy. Fr. Jacques Hamel, 85, celebrated the mass for three nuns and two parishioners.
According to one of the nuns who managed to escape unnoticed, the two attackers filmed themselves as they delivered a sermon in Arabic around the altar. She already left when the men slit the throat of Fr. Hamel. Police gunned down the attackers as they made their way out of the church.
Cardinal Pietro Parolin, secretary of state for the Vatican, sent his condolences to the diocese in Rouen and said the pope prayed that God would use the tragic incident to "inspire in all thoughts of reconciliation and brotherhood."
"This is the sort of world we are living in," said Chaldean Archbishop Bashar Warda, who also attended the celebration in KrakÃ³w, as reported by the Catholic News Service. "We pray for the priest and everyone who was shocked and horrified."
He also prayed for the enlightenment of ISIS.
"Imagine you enter a mosque and start killing people â€” but that's ISIS," continued Archbishop Warda. "That's the way they act. Unfortunately this is the way they've been trained."