The Holy Father again has denounced the “blind violence which causes so much suffering,” after the terrorist attacks in Brussels, Belgium killed as many as 31, leaving dozens injured.
In a telegram addressed to the Archbishop of Malines-Brussels, His Excellency Jozef De Kesel, on behalf of Pope Francis, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin wrote:
“Learning of the attacks in Brussels, which have affected many people, His Holiness Pope Francis entrusts to God’s mercy those who died, and he prays for those who have lost relatives. He expresses his deepest sympathy to the injured and their families and all those who contribute to relief efforts, asking the Lord to bring them comfort and consolation in this ordeal. The Holy Father again condemns the blind violence that causes so much suffering and imploring from God the gift of peace, he entrusts on the bereaved families and the Belgians the benefit of divine blessings.”
According to Belgium’s health minister, the three explosions, two at Brussels Airport and another at Maalbeck Metro Station killed 31 people and left more than 100 injured.
A Vatican spokesman said that the Pope’s Holy Week schedule will not be affected by the events in Belgium.
The attacks come four days after Salah Abdeslam, the main suspect in last year’s Paris attacks, was seized in Brussels. Abdeslam crossed over into Europe, hidden among refugees forced to flee their homeland.
Meanwhile, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster, in a statement, extended his sympathy to the Belgian Ambassador to Britain and Archbishop De Kesel.
“May God grant strength and enduring faith to all who bereaved, injured and traumatised,” he wrote.
“May God welcome into His merciful presence all who have died. May God turn the hearts of all who commit evil to a true understanding of His desire and intention for humanity,” the statement added.
Also, in his letter to Ambassador Guy Trouveroy, Cardinal Nichols said:
“I assure of the prayers and condolences of the Catholic community in England and Wales, We, too, mount this loss of life. We pray for the eternal repose of all who have died.”