WelCom News
A newspaper for the Wellington and Palmerston North Catholic Dioceses

Pope expresses condolences and solidarity with terrorist victims

WelCom June 2017:

Pope Sends Telegram for Terrorist Attack at Concert in Manchester

Pope Francis has sent his condolences to the victims of the terrorist attack on 22 May 2017 in Manchester, UK, at the concert of young American singer, Ariana Grande. The explosion claimed the lives of at least 22 people and injured some 59 others.

Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, sent a telegram on the Pope’s behalf with the following text.

His Holiness Pope Francis was deeply saddened to learn of the injury and tragic loss of life caused by the barbaric attack in Manchester, and he expresses his heartfelt solidarity with all those affected by this senseless act of violence. He commends the generous efforts of the emergency and security personnel, and offers the assurance of his prayers for the injured, and for all who have died. Mindful in a particular way of those children and young people who have lost their lives, and of their grieving families, Pope Francis invokes God’s blessings of peace, healing and strength upon the nation.’ / Zenit


Vatican: Pope Francis expressed solidarity with Egypt’s Coptic Christians, for those massacred in an attack on a bus carrying pilgrims to a remote desert monastery. At least 29 died and 24 were wounded when gunmen opened fire after they refused to renounce their faith at gunpoint. Many of the victims were children.

The Pontiff led thousands of people in prayer for the victims, who he said were killed in ‘another act of ferocious violence’ after having refused to renounce their Christian faith. Speaking from his studio window over St Peter’s Square on Sunday 28 May, Francis said, ‘May the Lord welcome these courageous witnesses, these martyrs, in his peace and convert the hearts of the violent ones.’

Isis claimed responsibility for the attack on the Christians travelling through the Minya region to the St Samuel the Confessor monastery, about 225km south of Cairo.


Pope Francis and President Trump meet for first time

Pope Francis and US President Donald Trump and his wife Melania Trump met privately for 30 minutes at the Vatican on 24 May 2017.

The pope gave the president a medallion, held together by an olive tree, symbolising peace, a signed copy of his 2017 World Peace Day message and copies of Amoris Laetitia…The Joy of Love and Laudato Si’. Pope Francis said that he hoped that the president may be like the olive tree to bring about peace. The president replied, ‘We can use peace.’

Pope Francis also blessed rosary beads for Melania Trump.

Following his meeting with the pope, the president and his secretary of state discussed the Paris Agreement on climate change with Vatican officials.

The Vatican described the meetings as cordial with both sides appreciating the good bi-lateral relations between the Holy See and the United States of America, and their joint commitment in favour of life, and freedom of worship and conscience.

Further discussions included international affairs and the promotion of world peace through political negotiation and interreligious dialogue, particularly concerning the Middle East and the protection of Christian communities.