Pope Francis told faithful gathered in St Peter’s Square on Sunday that the four Missionaries of Charity murdered by extremists in Yemen were victims of the “globalisation of indifference” who had “[given] their blood for the Church”.
The Pope, who made the remarks after the Angelus prayer, also expressed his closeness to the congregation founded by Mother Teresa.
The four nuns were shot dead by extremists at the care home they ran in Aden, Yemen’s capital, along with 12 residents of the home. Two of the nuns murdered were Rwandan, one was Indian, and the other was from Kenya.
The Pope said he prayed for those killed in the attack, and for their family members. “These are the martyrs of today! [They are] not [on] the covers of newspapers, [they] are not the news, they that give their blood for the Church.
“These people are victims of the attack of those who killed them and of indifference, of this globalisation of indifference, which doesn’t care.” The Pope added: “May Mother Teresa accompany her martyr daughters of charity in heaven, and intercede for peace and sacred respect for human life.”
A telegram sent by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, to the Missionaries of Charity said Pope Francis was “shocked and profoundly saddened” to learn of the killing.
“He sends the assurance of his prayers for the dead and his spiritual closeness to their families and to all affected from this act of senseless and diabolical violence,” the telegram said. “He prays that this pointless slaughter will awaken consciences, lead to a change of heart, and inspire all parties to lay down their arms and take up the path of dialogue.
“In the name of God, he calls upon all parties in the present conflict to renounce violence, and to renew their commitment to the people of Yemen, particularly those most in need, whom the Sisters and their helpers sought to serve. Upon everyone suffering from this violence, the Holy Father invokes God’s blessing, and in a special ways he extends to the Missionaries of Charity his prayerful sympathy and solidarity,” it said.