James Foley beheading: Pope Francis calls family of American journalist to offer condolences

A friend of his parents said the Pope offered comfort to the Catholic couple

The Pope has phoned the family of James Foley in America following his brutal beheading at the hands of Isis militants.

Pope Francis called the journalist’s parents, Diane and John Foley, at their home in the US but the content of the call has not been disclosed.

He often calls the victims of atrocities and their families to express condolences but the Vatican does not formally release the content of conversations, describing them as private.

The Foley family declined to comment but a friend, Father Marc Montminy, of a nearby church, said the Pope spoke through a translator for around 20 minutes.

He expressed his condolences and offered comfort to the Catholic couple, he told the New York Daily News.

Mr Foley was reporting on the continuing civil war in Syria when he was abducted in November 2012.

Hopes continued that he would be found alive or released from captivity until footage of his killing was posted online by Isis on Tuesday.

The video shows a man, thought to be James Foley, kneeling in front of a black-clad militant The video shows James Foley kneeling in front of a black-clad militant It has since emerged that US special forces failed to rescue Mr Foley and his fellow hostages in an operation in July, just weeks before his death.

Soldiers raided an oil refinery in northern Syria based on intelligence but the hosages had recently been moved.

Mr Foley’s death has sparked fresh controversy over the US and Britain’s refusal to negotiate with terrorists, which European countries pay ransoms in attempts to free trapped citizens.

Many would avoid financing terrorists and encouraging more kidnappings at any cost, while for other nations a person’s life is worth the risk.

Mr Foley's captors had for months demanded $132.5 million (£80 million) from his parents and political concessions from Washington.

A letter sent to the journalist’s family by Isis a week before his death said they had been given “many chances” to free him under terms “other governments have accepted”.

“You have no motivation to deal with the Muslims except with the language of force, a language you were given in Arabic translation when you attempted to occupy the land of Iraq,” it added.

“He will be executed as a direct result of your transgressions towards us!”

The extremists said his death was revenge for the 90 US air strikes against Isis militants in northern Iraq since 8 August and threatened further recriminations against American citizens if the operation continues.

Additional reporting by PA

READ MORE: JAMES FOLEY DEATH: I KNOW THE IDENTITY OF ISIS KILLER, SAYS FRENCH JOURNALIST
ELITE US MILITARY TOOK PART IN FAILED BID TO RESCUE PHOTOJOURNALIST
'GOVERNMENTS’ LACK OF CONSISTENCY ON PAYING RANSOMS PUTS LIVES AT RISK'
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

News
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law
news

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SEN Learning Support Assistant

£60 - £110 per day: Randstad Education Group: Youth Support Workers Glouceste...

IT Technician - 1st Line

£19000 - £21000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPOR...

PPA Cover Teacher

£110 - £130 per day + Competitive rates of pay: Randstad Education Reading: Pr...

Primary Teaching Jobs Available NOW-Southport

£80 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Liverpool: **Due to an increase in dema...

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London