Church leaders plead for prayers amid devastating attacks at locations throughout Paris.
At least 150 have been confirmed dead in the devastating terror attack that hit Paris yesterday.
The well- coordinated suicide-bomb attack played out in multiple locations: Explosions were reported near the Stade de France, the national stadium where 80,000 fans watched the home team defeat the Germans in a “friendly" match, including President Francois Hollande. Shootings were reported in the area of the famous Louvre museum and the nearby Les Halles shopping mall, – At the Bataclan theater where a large crowd had gathered to see the American rock band Eagles of Death Metal, as well as Le Petit Cambodge Cambodian restaurant in the 10th arrondissement.The gunmen detonated suicide vests when police stormed the theater, and killed at least 118 concertgoers.
Amid the violence, French President Francois Hollande decreed a state of emergency throughout the Paris region and said that the nation’s borders would be closed. A citywide curfew was put into effect in Paris for the first time since 1944.
In an address broadcast around the world, Hollande said of the massacre: “It’s a horror." “Who are these criminals? Who are these terrorist who are attacking us? My heart goes out to the victims and their families. We will come together. France is strong," Hollande said.
World leaders from U.S. president Barack Obama to British Prime Minister David Cameron, as well heads of state from around the world have voiced their solidarity with the victims and their families.
At the White House, President Obama said, “This is not just an attack on Paris or the people of France; it was an attack on humanity." He said the US would provide any assistance France needs, calling the country “our oldest ally."
The Vatican has expressed sadness over the turn of events in Paris
“We are shocked by this new manifestation of maddening, terrorist violence and hatred which we condemn in the most radical way together with the Pope and all those who love peace," Holy See press office director Fr. Federico Lombardi said in a statement.
“We pray for the victims and the wounded, and for all the French people. This is an attack on peace for all humanity, and it requires a decisive, supportive response on the part of all of us as we counter the spread the homicidal hatred in all of its forms."
Church leaders also voiced their solidarity with the victims and their families. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops urged prayer for all involved, with individual bishops posting their reactions via social media.
“May St. Denis and Our Lady of Lourdes intercede tonight for the people of Paris," Bishop James Conley of Lincoln, Nebraska said on Twitter.
“My prayers are with the people of Paris tonight. Let us pray for the victims, the hostages, and their families," said Bishop Frank Caggiano of Bridgeport, Connecticut.