Pope Assures Moscow Bombing Victims of Prayers

VATICAN CITY, MARCH 30, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI and the Orthodox patriarch of Moscow have expressed their closeness to the victims of twin subway bombings that left 39 people dead in the Russian capital Monday.

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Hundreds of people left flowers, candles and icons at the Lubianka station today as the nation mourned the loss of life from the terrorist attacks that were carried out by two women. More than 70 people were injured in the bombings.

The Pope sent a telegram to Russian President Dimitri Medvedev to express “profound grief and firm reprobation for the brutal acts of violence.”

The Pontiff related his “sentiments of solidarity, spiritual closeness and condolences to the victim’s relatives,” and assured the nation of his “fervent prayers of intercession for the lives cut short.”

“While I invoke heavenly consolations for those who mourn the tragic departure,” he added, “I willingly send my blessing, with particular thought for all those who were wounded.”

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia urged the nation to “respond to this danger not with fear, not with panic, not with exasperation.”

“Let us respond with unity of our people, with our firm will to stop terrorists and those who back them up, finance or justify,” he added. “God’s punishment will find them. I believe as well as human justice.”

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