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Pope Says Religious Violence 'Homicidal Madness'

Pope Francis attends an audience with the members of the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See for the traditional exchange of New Year's greetings in the Vatican on January 9.

Pope Francis has called on religious leaders around the world to do more to make clear that "one can never kill in God's name."

Speaking at the Vatican on January 9, the Roman Catholic pontiff said it was regrettable that religion is still used "at times as a pretext for rejection, marginalization, and violence."

He criticized "fundamentalist-inspired terrorism," describing it as "homicidal madness that misuses God's name in order to disseminate death in a play for domination and power."

Pope Francis also called on governments around the world to do more to combat poverty, which he said allows fundamentalism to flourish.

Based on reporting by AFP and AP