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Pope holds silent prayer for victims of Christchurch mosque attack

Pope Francis (Getty)

'I am close to our Muslim brothers and to that whole community,' Pope Francis said

Pope Francis held a moment of silent prayer during his weekly Angelus address on Sunday for the victims of the Christchurch mosque attack.

Pope Francis called on the crowd in St Peter’s Square to tackle “hatred and violence” with “prayer and gestures of peace”. He felt particularly close to “our Muslim brothers and all the community” of New Zealand, he added.

“Dear brothers and sisters, in these days, the pain caused by wars and conflicts that ceaselessly afflict humanity, includes pain for the victims of the horrible attack against two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand,” the Pope said at the end of his address.

“I pray for the dead and the wounded and their families. I am close to our Muslim brothers and to that whole community, and I renew the invitation to unite with prayer and gestures of peace to oppose hatred and violence. Let us pray together, in silence, for our Muslim brothers who have been killed.”

Pope Francis also used his Angelus address to focus on the Transfiguration of Christ, explaining how it shows the Christian perspective of suffering. “By showing his glory, Jesus assures us that the cross, the trials, the difficulties in which we struggle have their solution and their overcoming in Easter,” the Pope said.

Christian suffering is not “sadomasochistic”, he added.