Pope Francis expressed his sorrow upon hearing of “the untimely and tragic death” of Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles David O’Connell, who was gunned down in his home in Hacienda Heights on Saturday, 18 February.
In a telegram signed by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin and addressed to Archbishop of Los Angeles José H. Gomez, the Pope communicated his “heartfelt condolences and the assurance of his spiritual closeness” to the Archbishop, “the clergy, religious and lay faithful of the Archdiocese” of Los Angeles. The Holy Father expressed his gratitude for “Bishop O’Connell’s years of devoted priestly and episcopal ministry to the Church in Los Angeles, marked especially by his profound concern for the poor, immigrants and those in need, his efforts to uphold the sanctity and dignity of God’s gift of life and his zeal for fostering solidarity, cooperation and peace within the local community”.
The Pope also shared his prayer that all who honour the late Bishop’s memory “will be confirmed in the resolve to reject the ways of violence and overcome evil with good”. To “those gathered for the Mass of Christian burial”, reads the telegram, “and to all who mourn Bishop O’Connell’s loss in the sure hope of the resurrection, the Holy Father cordially imparts his blessing as a pledge of peace and consolation in the Lord”.