Hand of Terrorism

A Pope of peace falls victim to a vengeful gunman

An instant before it happened, one camera's eye caught a tableau that might serve as the late 20th century's most succinct text on the metaphysics of terrorism. There, on a mellow May afternoon at St. Peter's Square, beneath the encircling Bernini columns, the most vigorously gregarious of Popes rides slowly through a sea of tourists and pilgrims. It is a rite of sweet human communion. The Pope reaches out for babies in the crowd. He gently blesses the faces that give back a radiant daze of whatever it is that they...

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