· Vatican City ·

Pope Francis expresses condolences to Plymouth community

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20 August 2021

Pope Francis has assured his “spiritual closeness to the community of Plymouth”, in southwest England, where six people, including the perpetrator himself and a three-year-old girl, lost their lives last Thursday, 12 August, during a shooting which also injured others. In a telegram signed by the Cardinal Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, sent to Bishop Mark O’Toole of Plymouth — who presided over the celebration of Vespers in memory of the victims in the city’s Cathedral of St Mary and St Boniface on Tuesday evening, 17 August — the Pope commends “the souls of those who died to the loving mercy of Almighty God” and “implores the divine gifts of healing and consolation for the wounded and for the bereaved”, invoking for all “the strength to renounce violence” and to “overcome all evil with good”.

Thursday’s violence marked the first mass shooting in 11 years in the UK, where gun homicide rates are among the lowest in the world.