World

Pope: Fundamentalist terrorism that inspired Paris attacks result of 'deviant religion'

Pope Francis delivers his message during the Angelus noon prayer at the Vatican, Sunday, Jan. 11, 2015. Pope Francis on Sunday baptized 33 babies in the Sistine Chapel as part of an annual tradition, this year repeating an invitation to mothers to nurse their babies if crying out of hunger. For the first time in his pontificate, Francis celebrated Mass with his back to the faithful, according to the rites before the modernizing reforms of the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Pope Francis delivers his message during the Angelus noon prayer at the Vatican, Sunday, Jan. 11, 2015. Pope Francis on Sunday baptized 33 babies in the Sistine Chapel as part of an annual tradition, this year repeating an invitation to mothers to nurse their babies if crying out of hunger. For the first time in his pontificate, Francis celebrated Mass with his back to the faithful, according to the rites before the modernizing reforms of the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)  (The Associated Press)

Pope Francis has denounced the religious fundamentalism that inspired the Paris massacres and ongoing Mideast conflicts, saying the attackers were enslaved by "deviant forms of religion" that used God as a mere ideological pretext to perpetuate mass killings.

In his annual foreign policy address to Vatican-based ambassadors Monday, Francis called for a unanimous response from the international community to end this "fundamentalist terrorism" and for Muslim leaders in particular to condemn extremist interpretations of their faith that seek to justify such violence.

Francis says the attacks are the result of a "throwaway culture" — in which human beings and even God are rejected outright.

He says "religious fundamentalism, even before it eliminates human beings by perpetrating horrendous killings, eliminates God himself, turning him into a mere ideological pretext."