Pope Sends Message to Mark 20th Anniversary of Bombing of Jewish Center

Tells Argentina's Jewish Community: "Terrorism is Lunacy"

Vatican City, (Zenit.org) | 634 hits

Pope Francis has called terrorism lunacy and declared that all it does is destroy in a video-message to mark the twentieth anniversary of the bombing of the AMIA Centre in Buenos Aires. 

"Terrorism’s only purpose is to kill," he said, reported Vatican Radio Friday.

In the message, read in Spanish and sent to the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA), he decried the atrocity as the worst terrorist attack in Argentina's history.

Having killed 85 people and wounded hundreds of others, it illustrates the tragedy of terrorism, the Argentine Pontiff said.

"It does not build anything, it only destroys.” For this reason, he said, "I stand side-by-side with all those who have seen lives cut short, hopes destroyed, and ruined." He expressed his solidarity with Argentina’s Jewish community and their loved ones.

"Buenos Aires," the Holy Father said, is a city “which needs to cry” and “hasn’t cried enough.”

Concluding with an appeal, he said, "May justice be done."

The 1994 AMIA bombing was Argentina's deadliest bombing ever. In 2005, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was the first public figure to sign a petition for justice after incompetence and corruption hindered the investigation into the bombing. The perpetrators have yet to be brought to justice.

Below is the full text of Pope Francis' Message in English, as well as a link to watch the video-message. (D.C.L.)

***

On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the tragedy at the AMIA, I would like to express my solidarity with the Jewish community of Argentina and with all the family members of the victims, be they Jews or Christians. It is now 20 years since this tragedy, since this lunacy happened. Terrorism is lunacy. Terrorism’s only purpose is to kill. It does not build anything, it only destroys.

For this reason, I stand side-by-side with all those who have seen lives cut short, hopes destroyed, and ruined.

I have said that Buenos Aires is a city that needs to cry, that still hasn’t cried enough. Even if it is commonplace, I repeat: We need to cry.

We tend to archive things in order not to burden ourselves with history, with suffering, with things that could have been beautiful but weren’t. And therefore, it costs us a lot to find ways to reach justice, to face the damage this tragedy has inflicted upon society. Today, together with my solidarity and my prayers for all the victims, comes my desire for justice. May justice be done!

God bless you all, the institutions and the families. And may God give peace to all those who died in this act of lunacy.

***

On the NET:

Link to Video Message: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ol3gvO_CqDw