Pope phones family of executed US journalist

Phoned journalist family

Pope Francis phoned the bereaved family of a US journalist killed by Islamic State militants in Syria yesterday to console them for their loss and assure them of his prayers, reports the Catholic News Service.

The call to the family of James Foley in Rochester, New Hampshire, came in the afternoon New Hampshire time. Vatican spokesman Father Lombardi SJ released no additional details.

According to The Associated Press, US officials confirmed a graphic video released on Tuesday that showed Islamic State fighters beheading Foley, a 1996 graduate of Marquette University who had been a freelance journalist for the past several years, mostly in the world's trouble spots. In 2011, he was kidnapped on a Libyan battlefield and held captive in Tripoli for 45 days.

Sometime in late 2012, he went missing in Syria. The last time his family heard from him was before Thanksgiving that year.

The Islamic State militants said they killed Foley in retaliation for U.S. airstrikes on their strongholds, and the group threatened to kill another US hostage also shown in the video.

President Obama called Foley's parents, John and Diane Foley, on Wednesday before addressing the nation about their son's death and told them: "We are all heartbroken." 

When the President was making his televised remarks about James Foley's death, his parents spoke to reporters on the front yard of their home.

Read full article: Pope phones family of executed US journalist (CNS)

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