French bishops ordered a “death knell” to ring from every church of their country today (Thursday) after three people were hacked to death in a basilica in the southern Mediterranean city of Nice.
Churches were asked to chime their bells at 3pm in an act of mourning for three people who were killed in Nice’s Notre Dame Basilica while preparing for morning Mass.
Pope Francis sent a tweet expressing closeness to the people of Nice. “I pray for the victims, for their families and for the beloved French people, that they may respond to evil with good,” it said.
Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, sent a similar message from Pope Francis in a telegram to Bishop André Marceau of Nice.
“Entrusting France to the protection of Our Lady,” Pope Francis “wholeheartedly gives his apostolic blessing to all those affected by this tragedy,” the telegram added.
The French Council of Muslim Worship condemned the killings and asked Muslims to express their “mourning and solidarity with the victims and their relatives” by cancelling all celebrations of the birthday of Muhammad, which this year is marked by Sunni Muslims today (Thursday).
Photo: Police stand near Notre Dame Basilica in Nice, France, after at least three people were killed in a series of stabbings before Mass. France raised its alert level to maximum after the attack. (CNS photo/Eric Gaillard, pool via Reuters)