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Pope demands justice for Argentine victims of 1994 terror attack

Powerful, impromptu appeal made on friend's smartphone
Pope demands justice for Argentine victims of 1994 terror attack

Picture: Youtube

Published: July 21, 2014 04:44 AM GMT
Updated: July 20, 2014 06:24 PM GMT

Pope Francis is demanding justice for the victims of Argentina's worst terrorist attack, using what is increasingly becoming his signature way of communicating: an amateur smartphone video message, recorded on the fly by a visiting friend in the comfort of Francis' Vatican hotel room.

To be aired Friday during the official commemoration of the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people, the video is the latest evidence that Francis has no qualms about circumventing the Vatican's media machine to get his message out - for better or worse.

A close friend of the pope's, Claudio Epelman, executive director of the Latin American Jewish Congress, shot the video last month on his Samsung phone when he visited Francis at the Vatican. Epelman said he asked Francis, who was an auxiliary bishop in Buenos Aires at the time of the attack, if he would like to send a message to Argentina's Jewish community to mark the anniversary.

"He thought about it for half a second and said, 'Do you have your cellphone with you?'" Epelman told The Associated Press. "And I said 'yes' and then he said, 'Good, let's record it now!'"

In the message, the pope speaks off-the-cuff, with the hum of passing cars audible through the open windows of his hotel room. He condemns terrorism as "lunacy" and says Argentina must come to terms with the damage and pain the unsolved crime still causes.

"Today, together with my solidarity and my prayers for all the victims, comes my desire for justice. May justice be done!" he says.

Last year, Argentina and Iran approved a "truth commission" aimed at moving the investigation forward by enabling Argentine prosecutors to travel to Tehran to question former Iranian officials suspected of organizing the attack. But little progress has been made and Jewish groups say Argentina's failure to press Iran guarantees impunity. Tehran denies any involvement. 

Full Story: Pope Francis Demands Justice For 1994 Argentina Terror Attack On Jewish Center

Source:Huffington Post Religion

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