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Pope Francis phones parents of slain journalist James Foley

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Pope Francis offered his personal condolences in a private phone call to the parents of slain journalist James Foley, reported Vatican Radio Friday. The GlobalPost journalist’s savage murder was filmed and released online earlier this week by the terrorist organization ISIS.

Diane and John Foley, parents of James, received Pope Francis’ phone call on Thursday. The Holy Father spoke in English and offered his prayers and condolences for the loss of their son. Father Federico Lombardi, Director of the Holy See Press Office, confirmed the Pontiff’s exchange with the Foleys. According to a statement from American Jesuit James Martin, the parents were “moved and grateful” for the Pope’s sympathy.

The Foley’s Catholic faith has helped them through this difficult time stating, "We know Jimmy's free. He's finally free. And we know he's in God's hands...and we know he's in heaven." James was raised into the religion in Rochester, New Hampshire. Father Paul Gousse of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, where a Mass of remembrance is scheduled for Sunday, noted how important the Pope’s call was to James Foley’s parents, “Having the Pope himself call the family to express his sympathy and condolences I think is huge for them.”

As the final emails from ISIS to the Foley family surfaced, the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace announced the theme of the 48th World Day of Peace 2015, to be held on January 1. Slavery, human trafficking and the exploitation of women and children is the focus of the upcoming New Year’s Day message/event, Pope Francis' second since his election to the Papacy.

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