Pope offers prayers for Orlando victims of ‘terrible, absurd violence’

| Cindy Wooden | June 13, 2016 | 1 Comment
People hold hands in a circle during a June 12 vigil in an Orlando, Fla., park following a mass shooting at the Pulse gay nightclub in that city earlier that morning. CNS/Carlo Allegri, Reuters

People hold hands in a circle during a June 12 vigil in an Orlando, Fla., park following a mass shooting at the Pulse gay nightclub in that city earlier that morning. CNS/Carlo Allegri, Reuters

Pope Francis offered prayers for the families of the victims of the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, and expressed hope that people would find ways to identify and uproot “the causes of such terrible and absurd violence.”

A lone gunman, pledging allegiance to the Islamic State terrorist group, killed 49 people early June 12 at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando. Another 53 people were injured before the gunman, identified as 29-year-old Omar Mir Seddique Mateen, was killed by members of a police SWAT team.

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

Describing the shooting as an expression of “homicidal folly and senseless hatred,” a Vatican statement said, “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.”

“Pope Francis joins the families of the victims and all of the injured in prayer and in compassion,” said the statement released June 12. “Sharing in their indescribable suffering he entrusts them to the Lord so they may find comfort.

“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,” the statement concluded.

 

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  • Charles C.

    Would someone explain this to me? The Pope hopes that we will be able “to identify . . . the causes of such terrible and absurd violence?” Is it really that hard? Even outsiders could tell His Holiness that there are two causes for this shooting, the only question is what proportion each cause contributes.

    The two causes are Mateen’s faith in Islam. An Imam in central Florida publicly explained that the sentence for homosexuals is death and that the compassionate thing to do is kill them. The other factor is hatred of homosexuals. The hatred may have been created and nurtured by his religion, but it was there.

    The Vatican statement described the killing as “homicidal folly and senseless hatred.” Surely, that is mistaken and explains why we have so much difficulty with the question. No one is accusing Mateen of insanity. By our standards his act might be senseless, but we’re supposed to understand and accept other cultures, remember?

    Mateen could easily make the case that homosexuality is a grave sin, that his religion teaches him that each believer has to punish the sinner, and that killing the homosexual is a compassionate thing to do. If he believed those things, which an Imam publicly professed were taught by his religion, then the killings were perfectly logical and extraordinarily effective.

    After all this time we still don’t even understand the problem? No wonder the killings continue and we can’t find a strategy to defend ourselves.