The International Catholic Child Bureau (ICCB) expresses its deep sorrow and concern in reaction to the tragic and senseless attack on Père Hamel, in the parish of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, in France. We pray for him and for his family and parishioners. We would also like to express our solidarity to the victims of the other terrorist attacks perpetrated recently in different parts of the world. Children and youth have died, some are wounded, some have lost a member of their family or witnessed traumatic images. And unfortunately, some of these acts directly or indirectly involved young people. In this period where despair and incomprehension tend to prevail, BICE remains firmly committed to pursue its mission to protect the dignity and the rights of all children independent from their nationality and religion. We do believe “every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of humanity”.
We recall the powerful words of Pope Francis, “those who claim to believe in God must also be men and women of peace” and consequently of mercy, for one may never kill in the name of God. Only a distorted ideological form of religion can think that justice is done in the name of the Almighty by deliberately slaughtering defenseless persons.” (1)
Msgr. Robert J. Vitillo, Ecclesiastical Advisor of BICE strongly affirms, “Violence never solves problems; only dialogue and mutual understanding can lead to peace. As millions of young people gather in Cracow this week for the observance of World Youth Day, we hope and pray that they will be convinced that it is only by peace-making that they can contribute to a better world”.