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Cardinal calls for prayer for Boston Marathon bomb victims

Cardinal Seán O'Malley of Boston (CNS)

After Monday’s bomb blasts in Boston that left at least three people dead and more than 140 people injured, the Archbishop of Boston, Cardinal Seán O’Malley has called on people to pray for the victims.

“The Archdiocese of Boston joins all people of good will in expressing deep sorrow following the senseless acts of violence perpetrated at the Boston Marathon,” he said, in a statement released by the archdiocese.

“Our prayers and concern are with so many who experienced the trauma of these acts, most especially the loved ones of those who lives were lost and those who were injured, and the injured themselves.”

The explosions occurred close to the finish line of the Boston Marathon, the oldest race of its kind in the world. The first bomb went off at about 2.50pm local time, shortly before a second device exploded.

“The citizens of the City of Boston and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are blessed by the bravery and heroism of many, particularly the men and women of the police and fire departments and emergency services who responded within moments of these tragic events,” added the archbishop.

Cardinal O’Malley has received a telegram sent on behalf of Pope Francis in which the Pontiff calls on the people of Boston to “not be overcome by evil.”

“In the aftermath of this senseless tragedy, His Holiness invokes God’s peace upon the dead, his consolation upon the suffering and his strength upon all those engaged in the continuing work of relief and response. At this time of mourning the Holy Father prays that all Bostonians will be united in a resolve not to be overcome by evil, but to combat evil with good (cf. Rom 12:21), working together to build an ever more just, free and secure society for generations yet to come,” the telegram said.

These words were echoed by Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. “The tragic end to the Boston Marathon reminds us all that evil exists and that life is fragile. Our special prayers are with the Archdiocese of Boston and the people there who are working in the aftermath of this crisis to address those wounded in so many ways by these events,” he said.

“The growing culture of violence in our world and even in our country calls for both wise security measures by government officials and an examination by all of us to see what we can personally do to enhance peace and respect for one another in our world.”