Pope prays for the families after US school massacre
VATICAN CITY - Agence France-Presse
Pope Benedict XVI (R) leads a mass during his visit to the San Patrizio al Colle Prenestino parish on the outskirts of Rome, Italy, 16 December 2012. EPA/CLAUDIO PERIPope Benedict XVI on Sunday prayed for families of the victims in the Newtown school massacre in the United States during his traditional weekly address to pilgrims in St Peter's Square.
"I was deeply saddened by Friday's senseless violence in Newtown, Connecticut. I assure the families of the victims, especially those who lost a child, of my closeness in prayer," the pope told thousands of pilgrims.
"May the God of consolation touch their hearts and ease their pain," he said, before adding: "Upon those affected by this tragedy, and upon each of you, I invoke God's abundant blessings!" The Vatican sent a message of condolences from the pope on Friday to the local diocese in the US state of Connecticut where a young gunman went on the rampage, killing 27 people including 20 children.
The letter was read out at an emotional remembrance service in a local Catholic church.