Pope Francis in prayer Pope Francis in prayer  (ANSA)

Pope Francis 'deeply saddened' by Lewiston mass shooting in US

Pope Francis expresses his condolences over the latest mass shooting in the United States, in Lewiston, Maine, calling it an "unspeakable tragedy" and praying for all the victims and those who have lost loved ones.

By Deborah Castellano Lubov

Pope Francis is "deeply saddened" to learn of the latest mass shooting in the United States, calling the Lewiston shooting an "unspeakable tragedy."

In a telegram of condolences addressed to Bishop Robert Deeley of Portland, Maine, by the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Holy Father expressed his closeness to all those affected by the tragic event.

Lewiston: 18 dead, 13 wounded

In Lewiston, in the northeast state of Maine, 18 people were killed and 13 wounded in a shooting rampage on Wednesday night, the latest mass shooting in the United States.

According to police, the suspect of the shooting was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on Friday, ending the 48-hour manhunt that followed the most lethal episode of gun violence in the state's history. 

Commending souls to Almighty God

Pope Francis said he was "deeply saddened to learn of the terrible loss of life resulting from the mass shooting in Lewiston," and he expressed his "spiritual closeness to all those suffering from this unspeakable tragedy, especially the families who lost loved ones."

The Holy Father commended the souls of the deceased to the loving mercy of Almighty God, and prayed for the recovery of the wounded and the medical personnel caring for them.

Prayers for the United States

Moreover, the Pope commended "the noble efforts" of first responders "who put themselves in harm’s way to protect the community."

"With firm trust that aided by God’s grace we can overcome evil with good," Pope Francis invoked God's blessings of strength and peace, "upon the people of Lewiston, and indeed the entire country."

Bishop Deely: May the Lord console those mourning

In a statement issued shortly after the tragedy, Bishop Deely said it was "heartbreaking" to hear of the lives lost and of the many injured and "to know of the pain and grief that so many families are experiencing."

"We pray for all those impacted by this terrible violence, that the Lord may provide them with consolation in the midst of their sorrow," the Bishop of Portland said.

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28 October 2023, 13:00