Paris shooting: Pope slams 'deviant forms of religion'

Pope Francis delivering a speech during a baptizing ceremony in the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican on Jan 11, 2015. Pope Francis on Monday slammed "deviant forms of religion" following deadly attacks by militants in France last week that left 17
Pope Francis delivering a speech during a baptizing ceremony in the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican on Jan 11, 2015. Pope Francis on Monday slammed "deviant forms of religion" following deadly attacks by militants in France last week that left 17 people dead. -- PHOTO: AFP/OSSERVATORE ROMANO

VATICAN CITY (AFP) - Pope Francis on Monday slammed "deviant forms of religion" following deadly attacks by Islamist militants in France last week that left 17 people dead.

"Losing their freedom, people become enslaved, whether to the latest fads, or to power, money, or even deviant forms of religion," he said, laying the blame on "a culture of rejection" that leads to "the breakdown of society and spawning violence and death".

"We see painful evidence of this in the events reported daily in the news, not least the tragic slayings which took place in Paris a few days ago," he said in his yearly speech to the members of the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See.