Pope Mourns Victims, Expresses Closeness Following Ukrainian Plane Crash in Iran

Sends Condolences in Telegram

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Pope Francis has offered his condolences to the victims of the plane crash that took place near Teheran Imam-Khomeini International Airport, Iran, in a Jan. 9 telegram he sent to Ukrainian civil authorities through Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, in English, today, Jan. 9, 2020.

The Holy Father expressed his sadness hearing about the passenger plane crash, and is invoking the strength and peace of God on all involved, including the injured, those whose lives were lost, and those helping.

In the telegram, Francis prayed “especially for the eternal repose of the deceased and for the healing of those injured.”

“Upon all,” Pope Francis expressed, “especially those involved in the rescue and recovery efforts, His Holiness invokes the strength and peace of Almighty God.”

Here is the Vatican-provided text of the telegram sent today on the Pope’s behalf:


Having learned with deep sadness of the crash of the Ukrainian International Airlines passenger plane near Tehran, His Holiness Pope Francis commends the souls of the deceased to the merciful love of the Almighty, and he sends condolences to the families and friends of those who have lost their lives. Upon all affected by this tragedy, His Holiness invokes God’s blessings of strength and peace.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin

Secretary of State

[Original text: English] [Vatican-provided text]
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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page219.html or https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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