Tuesday 21 May 2019

Pope denounces ‘cruel violence’ in Sri Lanka during Easter Mass

Francis offered prayers for those killed and injured.

Pope Francis delivers his Urbi et Orbi message in St Peter’s Square (Andrew Medichini/AP)
Pope Francis delivers his Urbi et Orbi message in St Peter’s Square (Andrew Medichini/AP)

By Associated Press Reporters

Pope Francis has celebrated Easter Mass at the Vatican, as the church faced a fresh round of bloodshed targeting Christians in Sri Lanka.

Hours after leading a late-night vigil, Francis processed into a flower-decked St Peter’s Square for the liturgy commemorating the resurrection of Christ.

This year the Easter season has been marred by both the fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris last week, and the massacre on Sunday in Sri Lanka.

More than 130 people were killed and hundreds wounded following near-simultaneous blasts at three churches and three hotels frequented by foreigners.

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Faithful gather in St Peter’s Square (Andrew Medichini/AP)

The Pope denounced the “cruel violence” of the Easter Sunday attacks and said he was praying for all those who are suffering from the bloodshed.

Speaking from the loggia of St Peter’s Basilica, Francis said: “I want to express my loving closeness to the Christian community, targeted while they were gathered in prayer, and all the victims of such cruel violence.”

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Pope Francis is driven through the crowd after celebrating Easter Mass (Andrew Medichini/AP)

He added: “I entrust to the Lord all those who were tragically killed and pray for the injured and all those who are suffering as a result of this dramatic event.”

The 82-year-old has just completed an exhausting few days of Holy Week commemorations, including travelling to a prison outside Rome to wash the feet of inmates on Holy Thursday, presiding over the Way of the Cross procession at Rome’s Colosseum on Good Friday, and celebrating the Easter Vigil late on Saturday night in St Peter’s Basilica.

Press Association

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