After a terrorist attack near the London Bridge June 3. people leave the area with their hands up. Seven people were killed and dozens injured when three terrorists in a van mowed down pedestrians on the bridge before stabbing a police officer and revelers around Borough Market. CNS photo/Neil Hall, Reuters

Pope prays for victims of terror attack in central London

  • June 5, 2017

VATICAN CITY – At the end of Mass on Pentecost Sunday, Pope Francis prayed for the victims of the London Bridge terrorist attack.

“May the Holy Spirit grant peace to the whole world,” the Pope said after Mass, before praying the Regina Coeli.

“May He heal the wounds of war and of terrorism, which even this (Saturday) night, in London, struck innocent civilians: let us pray for the victims and their families.”

Seven people were killed and 48 others injured when three men drove a van into a crowd of people on London Bridge around 10 p.m. local time on June 3. One of the victims was Christine Archibald of British Columbia who was in London for the weekend with with her fiancé, Tyler Ferguson, who was from Calgary.

The men then went on a stabbing spree in nearby Borough Market where people were enjoying a Saturday night out at restaurants and pubs. The three men reportedly shouted “this is for Allah” during the attack. The three attackers were shot dead by police within eight minutes of the first emergency call.

According to police, 12 more people have been arrested in connection to the attacks.

It is the third terror attack in the UK in three months, after another car and knife attack in Westminster in March, which left five people dead, and the Manchester bombing at a concert less than two weeks ago, in which 22 people were killed.

In a statement on Sunday, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May promised to crack down on terrorism in the face of the recent attacks.

“(W)e believe we are experiencing a new trend in the threat we face, as terrorism breeds terrorism, and perpetrators are inspired to copying one another and often using the crudest of means of attack,” May said.

“We cannot and must not pretend that things can continue as they are,” she added.

May noted that while the recent attacks were connected by one common theme - “they are bound together by Islamistic extremism that preaches hatred, sews division, and promotes sectarianism. It is an ideology that is a perversion of Islam and a perversion of truth,” she said.

“It will only be defeated when we turn people’s minds away from this violence and make them understand that our values, pluralistic, British values, are superior to anything offered by the preachers and supporters of hate.”

May also said that internet must be regulated against terrorism, and that "extremism" must be stamped out both in the private and public sector.

"It is time to say enough is enough."

Others who reacted to the London attack include Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster and President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales. He tweeted that the victims were in his prayers.

Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier, Archbishop of Durban, South Africa, responded to Cardinal Nichols' tweet with his prayers and condolences.

(Catholic News Agency)

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