Pope assures prayers after “senseless tragedy” in Las Vegas


Sends message to local bishop, Joseph Pepe

Pope Francis today sent a message through his secretary of state to the bishop of Las Vegas, Joseph Anthony Pepe, assuring his prayers and spiritual closeness after the shooting Sunday night that took the lives of some 50 people and injured hundreds more, making it the deadliest mass shooting in US history.

“Deeply saddened to learn of the shooting in Las Vegas, Pope Francis sends the assurance of his spiritual closeness to all those affected by this senseless tragedy. He commends the efforts of the police and emergency service personnel, and offers the promise of his prayers for the injured and for all who have died, entrusting them to the merciful love of Almighty God.”

A gunman on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas repeatedly opened fire with an automatic weapon on those attending a country music concert below (some 22,000 people).

So far there is no indication of a motive or any evidence that the gunman was not acting alone. The gunman, a 64-year-old man without a criminal history, apparently killed himself before police arrived to the room from where he had carried out the shooting spree.

The president of the US bishops, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, also released a statement, saying that “we need to pray and to take care of those who are suffering.”

“In the end, the only response is to do good – for no matter what the darkness, it will never overcome the light,” he said.

“May the Lord of all gentleness surround all those who are suffering from this evil, and for those who have been killed we pray, eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.”

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