With a papal telegram, Pope Francis has expressed his condolences to the family of the Russian ambassador to Turkey who was shot dead Monday night in Ankara.
The ambassador was shot by an off-duty police officer while at an art exhibition.
The message, sent by the Pope’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, to Russian president Vladimir Putin, assures the people of the Russian Federation of the Holy Father’s prayers and spiritual solidarity.
Footage captured of the incident shows Mevlut Mert Altintas, 22, firing at least eight shots while shouting in Turkish: “Don’t forget Aleppo. Don’t forget Syria.” The assailant was then shot dead. Karlov had previously served as an ambassador to North Korea.
Here is the full text of the Pope’s telegram:
His Excellency Vladimir Putin
President of the Russian Federation
His Holiness Pope Francis was saddened to learn of the violent attack in Ankara, which resulted in the death of Ambassador Andrei Karlov. His Holiness sends condolences to all who mourn his loss, and in a special way to the members of Ambassador Karlov’s family. In commending his soul to Almighty God, Pope Francis assures you and all the people of the Russian Federation of his prayers and spiritual solidarity at this time.
Cardinal Pietro Parolin
Secretary of State