Vatican: Violence in the name of God is 'particularly heinous'

Acts of violence committed in the name of God are "particularly heinous and offensive", the Vatican said today.

Pope Francis leads the service at the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside The Walls in Rome January 25, 2016.Reuters

A statement was released by the Holy See after Pope Francis' general audience in Rome. The comments were made in response to the Turkish historian Rinaldo Mirmara presenting the Pope with a copy of his new book on the Battle of Dardanelles (1657).

The Vatican celebrated the book, emphasising the importance learning from history. "The painful events of history should not be forgotten; instead they require careful examination and reflection so that they may lead to the healing and purification of memory, so necessary for reconciliation and forgiveness for individuals and peoples," it said.

The book highlights the importance of scholarly work as a means by which truth can be found and bridges of cooperation built through mutual understanding, the Vatican added.

"The memory of the suffering and pain of both the recent past, as in the case of the assassination of Taha Carim, Ambassador of Turkey to the Holy See, in June 1977, at the hands of a terrorist group, urges us to acknowledge the suffering of the present and to condemn all acts of violence and terrorism, which continue to cause victims today," the statement said.

"Particularly heinous and offensive is violence and terrorism committed in the name of God or religion."

The Vatican drew attention to the particular friction between Christians and Muslims in some parts of the world, recalling Pope Francis' statement during his visit to the Central African Republic last year: "Christians and Muslims are brothers and sisters... Together, we must say no to hatred, no to revenge and no to violence, particularly that violence which is perpetrated in the name of a religion or of God himself."

Instead of focussing on divisions, the Church should remember "brotherhood, solidarity, compassion and shared humanity and... reiterate their common stand against all violence," the statement concluded.