Please pray for Nice, France!
Three people were killed on Thursday morning around 9 am local time at the Basilica of Notre Dame in Nice, France. Mayor Christian Estrosi deemed the slaying a terrorist attack.
The perpetrator beheaded one woman and stabbed two others while shouting, “Allahu Akbar”. Police shot the perpetrator and took him into custody. He repeated the phrase even after arrest.
French media said police found an elderly woman “nearly beheaded” and a sacristan stabbed to death inside the basilica. Another woman died of stab wounds after fleeing to a nearby cafe.
“It looks like for at least one of the victims, inside the church, it was the same method as for the poor professor of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine a few days ago, that is absolute horror,” Estrosi said in a video posted to Twitter.
Mayor Estrosi also posted photos of police at the crime scene. He “confirmed that everything suggests a terrorist attack in the Basilica of Notre Dame of Nice.”
Here’s the post below:
Here’s a video of police entering the church at the time of the attack:
Diocese of Nice Bishop André Marceau released a statement addressing the attack. He closed all churches in the diocese until further notice, placing them under police protection.
“My sadness is infinite as a human being in the face of what other beings, called human, can do,” Bishop Marceau wrote.
“All my prayers go out to the victims, their loved ones, the police on the front line of this tragedy, priests and faithful wounded in their faith and their hope.
“May Christ’s spirit of forgiveness prevail in the face of these barbaric acts.”
Diocese of Perpignan-Elne Bishop Norbert Turini of France also issued a statement. He is a native of the Nice Diocese and knew the slain sacristan personally.
“An [Islamic] terrorist entered the [Notre Dame] Basilica in Nice and murdered two worshipers and the sacristan,” Bishop Turini wrote.
“Despite the horror, it is time for meditation and prayer. I would like to say to my brother Bishop André Marceau and to the whole Church of Nice to which I owe so much, that the Catalans and their bishop are at one with the Catholics of the Riviera through affection and spiritual communion, to accompany them in this terrible time of trial and suffering.”
Pope Francis tweeted his condolences to the Nice Catholic community, promising his prayers for the victims, their families, and the French people.
Here’s Pope Francis’ post below:
The pope’s full tweet reads, “I am close to the Catholic community of [Nice], mourning the attack that sowed death in a place of prayer and consolation. I pray for the victims, for their families and for the beloved French people, that they may respond to evil with good.”
Cardinal Robert Sarah issued a statement addressing the attack on his Twitter account as well.
Here’s Cardinal Sarah’s tweet below:
The full tweet reads, “Islamism is a monstrous fanaticism which must be fought with force and determination. He will not stop his war. Unfortunately, we Africans know this too well. The barbarians are always the enemies of peace.
“The West, today, France, must understand this. Let us pray. + RS”.