“We are waiting for a message of appeasement to our souls in pain,” said Vincent, a witness marked by the carnage of the truck barreling on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, in the south of France, on the day of the national holiday.
About 180 people were injured or traumatized in the attack or relatives of the victims — 58 families in total — need to borrow two aircraft chartered by the municipality of Nice.
They will be joined by some 150 supporters of nice parties because, as well as by an official delegation of the association interreligious “Alpes-Maritimes Fraternity,” which includes the bishop of Nice, and representatives of jews, muslims, orthodox, and protestants.
Pierre-Etienne Denis, president of the national Federation of victims of terrorist attacks and accidents collective (Fenvac), this type of appointment allows you to get out of the loneliness and of “progress towards resilience“.
“If you are a believer, it is an exceptional meeting” and “if it is not, it is an encounter with a moral authority indisputable, a treasure of empathy that transcends religions“, he judged.
pope Francis had already received the French president François Hollande in mid-August to reaffirm its support for, and affection to the affected country since the beginning of 2015 by an unprecedented series of attacks.
And on the 14th of September, he had celebrated, in the company of 80 French pilgrims, a mass in honour of Jacques Hamel, the priest slain by two young jihadists in his church, near Rouen (north-west of France).
“As it would be good that all the religious confessions proclaim that kill in the name of God is satanic,” he then launched.
- ‘closing the ranks’ –
For Vincent Delhommel Desmarest, head of a restaurant from the Promenade des Anglais, off work since the attack and follow-up three times per week by a psychologist, the pontiff argentine is “a man of kindness and openness,” which may help to appease the scenes of carnage which rotate in a loop in his head.
“The nights we don’t sleep. I saw the full scene of the progress of the truck, bodies mutilated, decapitated, entrails..“, he confided.
In August, the restorer of 49 years has decided to create a local association to support victims, “Promenade des Anglais“, which already has 220 people. “Into the barbarity and the sentence, closing the ranks between the victims“.
on The evening of 14 July, national holiday in France, over 30,000 people came to witness the fireworks by the sea when Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, Tunisia 31-year-old, radicalized and violent, rushed into the crowd with a truck of 19 tons, making 86 dead and 434 wounded.
the president of the métropole Nice Côte d’azur, Christian Estrosi, who will travel to Rome, explained that the papal audience was “without distinction of religion“.
The opposition environmentalist municipal has expressed its objection in the name of secularism, at the option of the city council of chartering two planes, but his protest remained relatively isolated.
A third of the victims who died were of the muslim faith, recalled the imam Boubekeur Bekri, vice-president of the regional council of the muslim cult in the south-east of France, who will go to Rome with a handful of muslims.
“as a muslim and believer, I think that it is in the right thread of thought of the believer, the ability to converge towards each other“, he estimated.
“We are going there with a lot of respect,” said Mr. Bakri, in referring to “humanism intense” of pope Francis, expressed for example during his visit to the refugees mainly the muslims on the Greek island of Lesbos.
Maurice Niddam, president of the consistory of Nice, does not accompany the jewish victims, but he wanted to support this approach: “This pope is very human, very close to the people, open to other faiths. When he speaks of victims of acts of terrorism, this is not the mawkishness, it is sincerely hurt“.