Pope offers prayers for Orlando victims of 'terrible, absurd violence'

By Cindy Wooden

CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis offered prayers for the families of the victims of
the mass shooting in Orlando and expressed hope that people would find ways to
identify and uproot “the causes of such terrible and absurd

lone gunman, pledging allegiance to the Islamic State terrorist group, killed
50 people early June 12 at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Another 53
people were injured before the gunman, identified as 29-year-old Omar Mir Seddique Mateen, was
killed by members of a police SWAT team.

said Mateen, a private security guard, legally purchased the two guns he used
in the shooting, which is the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

the shooting as an expression of “homicidal folly and senseless hatred,”
a Vatican statement said, “The terrible massacre that has taken place in
Orlando, with its dreadfully high number of innocent victims, has caused in
Pope Francis, and in all of us, the deepest feelings of horror and
condemnation, of pain and turmoil.”

Francis joins the families of the victims and all of the injured in prayer and
in compassion,” said the statement released June 12. “Sharing in
their indescribable suffering he entrusts them to the Lord so they may find

all hope that ways may be found, as soon as possible, to effectively identify
and contrast the causes of such terrible and absurd violence which so deeply
upsets the desire for peace of the American people and of the whole of humanity,”
the statement concluded.

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