Pope Francis has condemned “deplorable acts of terrorism and violence” in Munich and Kabul that have left dozens dead in recent days.
Addressing a crowd in St Peter’s Square on Sunday, Francis urged believers to join his prayers, saying that “as much as the difficulties seem insurmountable and dark the prospects of peace and security, our prayers must be that much more insistent.”
A German-Iranian 18-year-old that police said was obsessed with mass-shootings killed nine people, mostly teens, in a shopping mall shooting spree in Munich on Friday, while a suicide bomber killed at least 80 people during a peaceful demonstration in Kabul on Saturday.
“At this time our soul is once again moved by sad news related to deplorable acts of terrorism and of violence, which have caused sorrow and death,” the Pope said, according to Vatican Radio.
He added: “I think of the dramatic events in Munich in Germany, and in Kabul in Afghanistan, where many innocent people lost their lives.”
The Pope also asked the faithful to pray with him “that the Lord might inspire in everyone intentions of goodness and fraternity.”
Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin sent a telegram to Cardinal Reinhard Marx, the Archbishop of Munich, on behalf of Pope Francis in order to express the Pontiff’s closeness to those affected by the atrocity.
“His Holiness shares in the pain of the survivors and expresses to them his closeness in suffering,” the telegram said.
“He entrusts the departed in prayer to the mercy of God. He expresses his deep sympathy to all those who were wounded in this attack, and thanks the rescue service personnel and the security forces for their attentive and generous service.”
Cardinal Parolin added: “Pope Francis beseeches Christ, the Lord of Life, to give comfort and consolation to all, and imparts his Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of hope.”
Meanwhile, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster, has taken to Twitter to offer his prayers for those caught up in the attacks in Munich and the bomb attack in the German city of Ansbach that took place on Sunday night. A failed Syrian asylum seeker reportedly blew himself up and injured 12 other people with a backpack bomb.
I pray for all the victims of #Munich shooting & of the #Ansbach bomb & their families, & for the people of Germany at this difficult time.
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