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Pope Francis Sends Message Conveying “Spiritual Closeness” to Families After Terrorist Attack, Airline Tragedy

Pope Francis listens to Italian Episcopal conference

Massimo Valicchia/NurPhoto

Pope Francis arrives to attend a vigil ahead of the opening of the Synod of bishops, in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015. (Photo by Massimo Valicchia/NurPhoto)

Diane Montagna - published on 03/21/16

“The Holy Father commends the souls of the dead to the mercy of Almighty God.”

VATICAN CITY — One day after Saturday’s brutal terrorist attacks of two synagogues in Istanbul, and the tragic early morning FlyDubai airline crash in southern Russia, Pope Francis on Sunday sent his condolences to the families of the victims and his promise of prayer for the souls of those who died.

Turkish and Israeli investigators are currently probing the twin bombings in Istanbul, which struck two neighborhoods located just three miles apart, as Jews observed their Sabbath. Twenty-three people have been confirmed dead, with more than 300 persons injured.

On early Saturday morning, at approximately 3 a.m. local time, all 62 people (7 crew members and 55 passengers) aboard a FlyDubai flight, travelling from Dubai to southern Russia, crashed in a second attempt to land, after circling the airport for two hours due to heavy winds and bad weather conditions.

The two telegrams, sent in English on behalf of the Holy Father by Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, were addressed to the President of Turkey and authorities of the Russian Federation.

Here below we publish the telegrams of condolences.

His Excellency Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
President of the Republic of Turkey

His Holiness Pope Francis grieves to learn of the casualties caused by the bombing in Istanbul yesterday morning, and he expresses his prayerful solidarity with all touched by this tragedy. His Holiness asks you to convey his spiritual closeness to them, as well as to the personnel assisting the injured. Commending the souls of those who have died to the mercy of the Almighty, Pope Francis invokes divine strength and peace upon those who mourn, and upon the entire nation.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin
Secretary of State

Telegram sent to the Russian Federation

His Holiness Pope Francis was saddened to learn of the tragic air accident in Rostov-on-Don, and he sends his sincere condolences to the relatives and friends of the victims. His Holiness commends the souls of the dead to the mercy of Almighty God and implores the divine gifts of consolation, strength and hope upon all who mourn their loss.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin
Secretary of State

Pope Francis
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