Pope condemns the Strasbourg attack and the Brazilian massacre

The scene of the Tuesday attack at the Strasbourg Christmas Market

In a telegram addressed to the Archbishop of Strasbourg, Pope Francis assures prayers for all those affected by Tuesday’s attack that left three people dead and thirteen wounded. The telegram was sent to Archbishop Luc Ravel of Strasbourg.

“It is with sadness and concern that His Holiness Pope Francis learned of the attack that took place on Tuesday night at the Christmas market in Strasbourg”, reads the text of the message. “Pope Francis again expresses his firm condemnation of such acts.”

 The message continues with the Pope assuring all those affected by this attack, the families especially, of his prayer and compassion. “As a pledge of consolation”, reads the telegram, the Holy Father “implores the abundance of divine blessings on the victims, on those who assist them and on all the French people”.

“While entrusting the dead to the mercy of God”, says the message, “the Holy Father has a special thought for the professionals and the volunteers who take care of the wounded”.

On the same day, in a telegram, the Pope entrusts to the mercy of God the victims of the massacre that took place on Tuesday in the Cathedral of Campinas, 100km from São Paulo, in Brazil.

Pope Francis is “deeply affected by the dramatic attack that took place during the celebration of Holy Mass in the Cathedral of the Archdiocese of Campinas. Those were the words contained in the telegram, signed by the Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, sent to the diocesan administrator of the archdiocese of Campinas.

The Pontiff “entrusts to the mercy of God the victims of the massacre” and assures his closeness and spiritual comfort to the families who have lost their loved ones and to the entire archdiocesan community. Moreover, Pope Francis invokes “a prompt recovery for the wounded, inviting everyone, in the face of a moment of pain, to find comfort and strength in the Risen Jesus, praying that hope will not be lacking in this hour of trial and that forgiveness and love will prevail over hatred and vengeance”.

Five people were killed in the massacre carried out yesterday by Euler Fernando Grandolpho, a 49-year-old man, who was unemployed and suffering with depression problems. At the end of the midday Mass, he entered the Cathedral of Campinas armed with guns, killing 5 people and injuring 3 others before committing suicide at the foot of the high altar.

Yesterday the cathedral has been reopened to celebrate a mass in memory of the victims of the massacre. Many flowers were placed on the stairs of the church, in a building next door a banner appeared with the words: “Peace to those who left in the tragedy of 11-12-2018”.