Girls embrace in front of a makeshift memorial for victims by the Covenant School Girls embrace in front of a makeshift memorial for victims by the Covenant School  (AFP or licensors)

Pope sends condolences for victims of Nashville school shooting

Pope Francis sends a telegram to the Bishop of Nashville, and expresses his sadness for the most recent in a series of deadly school shootings to shake the United States.

By Francesca Merlo

After the most recent deadly shooting in a school in the United States, in which six people were killed, of which three were nine years old, Pope Francis has sent a telegram to the Bishop of Nashville, Joseph Mark Spalding.

In the telegram, signed by Cardinal Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, on behalf of the Holy Father, the Pope wrote how deeply saddening he was to learn of the news of this recent shooting at the Covenant School in Nashville. 

The Pope asked the Bishop of Nashville to convey "his heartfelt condolences and the assurance of his prayers to all affected by this senseless act of violence."

He said he joins "the entire community in mourning the children and adults who died and commends them to the loving embrace of the Lord Jesus."

Finally, Pope Francis invoked "the consolation and strength of the Holy Spirit upon the grieving families and prays that they will be confirmed in their faith in the power of the Risen Lord to heal every hurt and to bring good out of unspeakable evil."

What happened?

On Monday, a 28-year-old woman entered the Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee, USA and opened fire, killing six people. 

According to police, the victims include three 9-year-old students: Evelyn Dieckhaus, William Kinney and Hallie Scruggs, the daughter of the lead church pastor Chad Scruggs.

Also killed were Cynthia Peak, 61, believed to be a substitute teacher; Katherine Koonce, the 60-year-old head of the school; and, Mike Hill, a 61-year-old custodian.

The 28-year-old was allegedly under care for an emotional disorder and had legally bought seven firearms that were hidden at her home where she lived with her parents, who have stated that they felt their daughter should not own weapons.

The assailant was killed in the attack when police opened fire in self-defense. 

The attack was the 19th shooting at an American school or university in 2023 in which at least one person was wounded.

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29 March 2023, 13:31