Assuring Turkey of his prayers and closeness, Francis has condemned the brutal attack in Istanbul this weekend, and has prayed God sustains those “who roll up their sleeves to boldly tackle the scourge of terrorism.”
The Pope expressed this to the pilgrims and visitors gathered in St. Peter’s Square during his Angelus address yesterday, Jan.1, which also marked the World Day of Peace.
The night before, at 1:30 a.m local time (23:30 in Italy), at the popular Reina nightclub during New Year’s Eve celebrations, a gunman opened fire where some 600 were celebrating. He claimed at least 39 lives, including 16 foreigners and five Turkish citizens, and wounding about 70 others.
“Unfortunately, violence has also hit this night of good wishes and hope, with a major attack in Istanbul,” Francis lamented after reciting the midday prayer yesterday, saying, “I am close with prayer to the deceased, injured, and their families, and the entire Turkish people. I pray for the many victims and injured and for the whole nation in mourning.”
“I ask the Lord,” Pope Francis continued, “to sustain all people of goodwill who roll up their sleeves to boldly tackle the scourge of terrorism and the stains of blood that envelop the world with a shadow of fear and bewilderment.”
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