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Pope Francis calls family of American journalist slain by Islamic State militants in Syria

ROCHESTER, N.H. — Pope Francis has called the family of an American journalist whose videotaped beheading by Islamic State militants has touched off torrents of outrage around the world.

Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi confirms the pope called James Foley’s parents, Diane and John Foley, on Thursday. He gave no details of what the pope said.

In the past the Vatican has described such personal calls by the pontiff as private without revealing the contents of the conversations.

The Foleys have declined to comment from their home in Rochester, New Hampshire.

James Foley was covering the fighting in Syria when he was abducted on Thanksgiving Day 2012. The 40-year-old journalist hadn’t been seen until a video of his killing surfaced Tuesday on the Internet.

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