Saturday, January 6, 2024

Pope Francis prays for victims of terror attack in Iran


Pope Francis during the Angelus on the Solemnity of the EpiphanyPope Francis during the Angelus on the Solemnity of the Epiphany  (Vatican Media)

Pope prays for victims of Iran terror attack and for peace in the world

Pope Francis prays for the victims of a terror attack that killed almost 90 people in Iran, whilst also turning his thoughts to the devastating wars that are ravaging our world.

By Francesca Merlo

Addressing the faithful gathered for the recitation of the Angelus prayer in St Peter's Square on the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord, Pope Francis prayed for the victims of a terror attack in Iran, and - in recalling a meeting that took place, sixty years ago in Jerusalem - for peace in the world.


Praying for Iran, where a terror attack in Kerman killed 84 people and wounded over 250 more, the Pope expressed his closeness "to the Iranian people, and especially to the families of the many victims of the terrorist attack in Kerman, to the many wounded and to all those who are affected by this great sorrow". 

On 3 January 2024, two bombs were detonated within 15 minutes of each other during a commemorative ceremony marking the assassination of Qasem Soleimani, an Iranian general, killed on that day in 2020. 

One day after the attack, the so-called Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement posted on Telegram. 

Peace in the world

Pope Francis also recalled a meeting that took place sixty years ago in Jerusalem. "Sixty years ago, in these very days, Pope St Paul VI and Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras met in Jerusalem, breaking a wall of incommunicability that had kept Catholics and Orthodox apart for centuries", he said, as he invited all those present to take this meeting as a lesson: "Let us learn from the embrace of those two Greats of the Church on the road to Christian unity, praying together, walking together, working together", said the Pope.

In light of that "historic gesture of fraternity" Pope Francis asked for prayers for peace in the Middle East, in Palestine, in Israel, in Ukraine, "in the whole world", he added. 

There are "so many victims of wars, so many deaths, so much destruction" stressed the Pope, reiterating once more "let us pray for peace".

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