Pope Francis expressed his sorrow at news of Monday’s plane crash in Colombia, which took the lives of many players, coaches and invited guests from Brazil’s Chapecoense soccer team. Only six people survived the crash; 71 were killed.
The following messages of condolences were sent on behalf of the Holy Father by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin after the crash in La Ceja, Colombia.
Message to the bishop of Sonsón-Rionegro, Msgr. Fidel León Cadavid Marín
The Holy Father, profoundly saddened by the painful news of the serious air crash which has claimed many victims, raises prayers for the eternal repose of the deceased. Likewise I ask Your Excellency to convey His Holiness’ condolences to the relatives and to those who mourn such a profound loss, along with expressions of affection, solidarity and comfort to those who are wounded and affected by the tragic event. At the same time, Pope Francis asked the Lord to bestow on them the gifts of spiritual serenity and Christian hope, and imparts a heartfelt apostolic blessing.
Message to the president of the Episcopate of Brazil
Most Eminent Cardinal Dom Sérgio Da Rocha
Archbishop of Brasilia and president of the CNBB
Shocked by the tragic news of the air accident in Colombia which has claimed numerous victims from Brazil, Pope Francis asks His Eminence to convey his condolences and his participation in the suffering of all those who mourn. At the same time, as he commends the deceased to God, Father of Mercy, the Holy Father raises prayers to heaven for the consolation and rehabilitation of the wounded, and courage and the consolation of Christian hope for all those affected by the tragedy. To those who suffer as a result of the accident he imparts the comfort of his apostolic blessing.
Investigators are trying to determine what caused the crash. Early reports suggested that perhaps the plane ran out of fuel.