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Pope Francis condemns the horrific and senseless hatred’ of Orlando massacre

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Pope Francis has expressed the “deepest feelings of horror and condemnation” over a massacre at a Florida nightclub that killed at least 50 people and injured 53 more.

Vatican spokesman the Jesuit Federico Lombardi said in a statement that the Pontiff denounces the “senseless hatred” of the shooting at the Pulse nightclub in the early hours of Sunday morning.

“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 before this new manifestation of homicidal folly and senseless hatred,” the statement said.

“Pope Francis joins the families of the victims and all of the injured in prayer and in compassion. Sharing in their indescribable suffering he entrusts them to the Lord so they may find comfort.”

He added: “We 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.”

Omar Mateen, 29, has been named as the perpetrator of the attack on the gay nightclub. He was killed by members of the police SWAT team that entered the building.

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

His father, Seddique Mateen, has said his son recently became “very angry” after seeing two men kissing in Miami.

ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack, however its level of involvement has not been confirmed.

According to the FBI, Mateen phoned 911 shortly before the attack and pledged allegiance to ISIS and mentioned the Boston marathon bombers. Mateen was previously investigated by the FBI over his links to extremism but the case was closed.

In response to the massacre,  Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, president of the US Catholic bishops conference, said: “Waking up to the unspeakable violence in Orlando reminds us of how precious human life is.”

He added: “Our prayers are with the victims, their families and all those affected by this terrible act.”

Archbishop Eamon Martin, the Primate of All Ireland, said he was “shocked and saddened” by the shootings today in Orlando.

“Many Irish families enjoy visits to this beautiful and friendly place, and it is heartbreaking to hear about such a high number of people killed in violent circumstances,” the archbishop said.

“On behalf of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference I wish to express my profound condolences and I offer prayers of solidarity from Ireland to those who have been touched by this tragedy in the United States.”

He asked the faithful to remember in their prayers those injured or killed, and their families.

US President Barack Obama US described Sunday’s attack as “an act of terror and an act of hate” and “a sobering reminder that attacks on any American, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation is an attack on all of us.”

He added: “No act of hate or terror will ever change who we are or the values that make us Americans.”

Mateen’s ex-wife, Sitora Yusufiy, described him as “disturbed” and said that he regularly beat her during their short marriage.


1 comment

  1. Patrick Gannon Reply

    All the Abrahamic religions call for the death penalty for homosexuality. It was a gay club, and there will be many Christians including Catholics who will applaud this privately, if not publicly. Christians, Jews and Muslims are all at least partially culpable for this massacre, as it is their insistence that their religious texts are “holy,” “inspired” and “sacred,” that provides the foundation to support extremist acts such as this. After all, the killer was only doing what the holy books told them to do.
    “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.” Leviticus – bible.
    [7:80] And We sent Lot as a Messenger: Remember that he said to his people, “Have you become so shameless that you commit such indecent acts as no one has committed before you in the world? [81] You gratify your lust with men instead of women: indeed you are a people who transgress the limits!” . . . [84] And We rained upon his people; then behold what happened in the end to the guilty ones! (Maududi, The Meaning of the Quran, vol. 2, p. 45)
    The RCC is the source for much of the hatred and bigotry directed to the LGBT community in the US, and they are indirectly culpable any time one of these individuals is attacked. For the Pope or any member of the clergy to condemn this massacre really strikes me as hypocritical, and I must question their sincerity.
    What does the Church catechism say? Any of those people who committed homosexual acts and did not make it to Confession are now in Hell, right? Despite the fact that they lived but a handful of decades, they will spend billions and trillions of years in hellfire – right? The odd thing is that the RCC helped send them there by promoting the bigotry and prejudice that resulted in their deaths.
    The pope does not get credit for putting out the fire when his organization is throwing kerosene on the flames! The media ruckus will be all about guns – but the problem is not guns – it’s religion, and in particular the Abrahamic religions for which the foundation has been demolished. No 6 day creation, no global flood, no mass Exodus, no conquest of Canaan. All the building blocks for the Abrahamic religions have been knocked down. The books are not holy. Once we admit this, there is no longer a foundational support for extremism such as this.

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