December 1, 2014
CINDY WOODEN
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT – Pope Francis said he would "never close the door" on dialogue with the Islamic State in an effort to bring peace to a region of the world suffering from violence and persecution.

He also said "terrorism" could describe not only the actions of such extremist groups but also those of some national governments using military force unilaterally.

Meeting reporters Nov. 25 on his return flight from Strasbourg where he addressed the European Parliament, Pope Francis said terrorism is a threat that must be taken seriously.

Specifically asked if he thought there was even the most remote possibility of dialoguing with terrorists like those from the Islamic State, Pope Francis said, "I never count anything as lost. Never.

"Never close the door. It's difficult, you could say almost impossible, but the door is always open."

But Pope Francis also warned of the threat of "state terrorism," when tensions rise and an individual nation decides it has "the right to massacre terrorists and with the terrorists many innocent people fall."

Nations have a right and duty to stop "unjust aggressors," he said, but they must act in concert and in accordance with international law.