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Pope mourns victims of Sydney knife attack

Pope Francis during his weekly general audience - April 19-2023

Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 04/14/24

The Pope "invokes upon the nation the divine blessings of consolation and strength."

Pope Francis sent the “assurance of his spiritual closeness to all affected by this senseless tragedy,” after six people were killed in a knife attack at a mall in Sydney, Australia, on Saturday, April 13.

The Pope sent his condolences and prayers through Archbishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney in a telegram signed by his secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin.

The Pope “invokes upon the nation the divine blessings of consolation and strength.”

The attacker, Joel Cauchi, 40, was shot and killed by policewoman Amy Scott, after members of the public directed her to him, and the knifer lunged at her.

In his attack, Cauchi killed five women and one man and injured several others, including a baby. He was known to have mental illness, which manifested already in his teen years.

One of the victims was first-time mom Ash Good, 38. She died from the wounds sustained as she tried to protect her 9-month-old, who also sustained injuries.

Pope Francis has not visited Australia, but Sydney did welcome Benedict XVI in July 2008, for World Youth Day. The city also welcomed John Paul II on two occasions, in 1986 and 1995, and Pope Paul VI in 1970.

Pope Francis will travel to Oceania later this year, but not Australia. He will visit Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, East Timor, and Singapore from September 2 to 13, in his longest trip as pope.

Sydney’s population is about 25% Catholic, with some 668,000 Catholics, served by almost 500 priests.

AustraliaNatural or Human DisastersPope Francis
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