Pope Francis has warned that a recent wave of jihadist attacks in Europe is proof that “the world is at war”.

However, he stressed he did not mean a war of religions, but rather a conflict over “interests, money, resources”. He was speaking ahead of his visit to Poland to reporters seeking his comments on the murder of a Catholic priest by French jihadists on Tuesday.

Father Jacques Hamel was killed at a morning mass in his church in northern France. The killing was the latest of a spate of attacks carried out in France and Germany over the past few days and weeks, many of them attributed to Islamist militants.

“The word we hear a lot is insecurity, but the real word is war,” the pontiff said. “We must not be afraid to say the truth, the world is at war because it has lost peace. “When I speak of war I speak of wars over interests, money, resources, not religion. All religions want peace, it’s the others who want war,” Pope Francis added.

The Pope is in the southern Polish city of Krakow, for a gathering of young Catholics from across the world. The World Youth Day was expected to attract hundreds of thousands of people.

Pope Francis’ support for migrants has put him at odds with Poland’s anti-immigrant right-wing government, which has refused to take part in an EU deal to take in refugees, citing security reasons.

Much of Poland’s conservative Catholic establishment is uncomfortable with Pope Francis’s push for a more flexible and compassionate church.

Poland is deploying over 40,000 security personnel for the visit.

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