This Sunday, Pope Francis expressed his condolences to the loved ones of the victims of Friday’s terrorist attacks in France, Tunisia, and Kuwait. Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin sent telegrams on behalf of the Holy Father to the representatives of the Holy See in the three nations.
To the apostolic nuncio in France, the Holy Father said he participates in prayer in the suffering of the family of the victim of the attack in Saint-Quentin Fallavier, and with the wounded and their relatives. He repeated his condemnation of “violence that gives rise to so much suffering,” invoked the Lord’s gift of peace, and blessed the afflicted families and all the French people.
Near Lyon in southern France on Friday, there was an attack on a U.S.-owned factory, in which a large explosion was followed by the discovery of a severed head hanging from a fence. Two people were hurt in the blast. With the victim’s head, French authorities found two banners or flags. The suspect in whose van the decapitated victim’s body was found has been detained by authorities.
In the Pontiff’s telegram to the apostolic nuncio in Tunisia, Francis also expressed his heartfelt condolences to the Tunisian people and in particular to the families of the deceased following the attack in Sousse. According to the state-run TAP news agency, three gunmen opened fire on beachgoers at an oceanfront hotel in the city, killing 37 and wounding 36. The Pope repeated his condemnation of the violence, asked God to welcome the souls of the departed into His light, and imparted his blessing to the injured, their relatives and all Tunisians.
In his third telegram, the Holy Father declared his sadness at the tragic loss of life and injuries caused by the attack on a Shiite-affiliated mosque in Kuwait City. State media reported that ISIS claimed responsibility for the blast which claimed 25 lives.
Francis offered his prayers for the victims and for all those who mourn. Deploring these acts of barbarism, the Pope reaffirmed his spiritual closeness to all the families affected and to the Kuwaiti people, encouraging them not to lose heart in the face of evil, and invoked upon the nation the consoling and healing love of the Almighty. (D.C.L.)