ST. PETERSBURG, Florida, JUNE 18, 2010 ( U.S. Catholic bishops gathered for days of prayer and reflection in Florida made a public statement of solidarity with victims of the oil spill polluting the Gulf of Mexico.

The spill resulted from an April 20 well blowout on the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil drilling platform that killed 11 and injured 17 others.

"We pray first and foremost for those who died in the initial explosion and for the grieving members of their families," the bishops said in their statement. "We express our prayerful support as well for the families and individuals whose lives and livelihoods have been so negatively impacted by the oil that daily contaminates water, beaches and God’s creation in the Gulf Coast area. In a special way, in our difficult economic times, we are mindful of those who have lost their jobs and income."

The bishops also promised their prayer for government and industry leaders and experts "working to cap the leak and repair this damage."

"May God give them wisdom and strength in this trying hour," the bishops said, "and may he move them to seek lasting solutions benefitting the common good of our society."