After praying the midday Angelus with those gathered today in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis led the pilgrims in a moment of silence to pray for the victims of Saturday’s terrorist attack in Turkey.
Two bombs were detonated Saturday in Ankara amidst crowds of people gathered for a peace rally. Close to 100 were killed and another 250 were wounded. No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attacks, but it is believed that it was carried out by two suicide bombers.
Today, the Pope spoke of his sorrow for the event.
“Yesterday we have received with great sorrow the news of the terrible massacre that took place in Ankara, in Turkey. Sorrow for the great number of dead. Sorrow for the wounded. Sorrow because the terrorists have attacked defenseless people who rallied for peace. While I pray for this dear country, I ask the Lord to welcome the souls of the deceased and comfort those who suffer and their families. Let us all together pray in silence.”
Upon learning of the bombings, Pope Francis sent the following telegram, through Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, to the President of the Republic of Turkey.
His Excellency Recep Tayyip Erdogan,
President of the Republic of Turkey Ankara
His Holiness Pope Francis is deeply saddened to learn of the loss of life and the injuries caused by the explosions in Ankara this morning, and he expresses his heartfelt solidarity with those affected by this tragedy. While His Holiness deplores this barbaric act, he asks you to convey his spiritual closeness to all the families affected during this time of grief, and to the security and emergency personnel working to assist the wounded. Commending the souls of all who have died to the loving mercy of the Almighty, Pope Francis invokes divine strength and peace upon their grieving relatives.
Cardinal Pietro Parolin,
Secretary of State