BY SCO Admin | July 3 2015 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

1-POPE-FRANCIS-SPEAKS

Pope is united in prayer with victims of terrorist attack

Holy Father expresses solidarity with those who have suffered after gunman’s rampage in Tunisia

Pope Francis has expressed his solidarity with victims of Friday’s terror attacks in Tunisia. As the SCO went to press, a total of 30 Britons are thought to have died in a gunman’s attack on a tourist resort of Sousse, with Scots among the dead. Dozens more people have been reported injured.

Tunisian authorities have arrested several people on suspicion of helping the gunman Seifeddine Rezgui, who had links to the jihadist group Islamic State (ISIS).

In a telegram to the Tunisian Government, the Holy Father said he was united in prayer with the relatives of the victims. He prayed, too, for the souls of those who perished in the attacks, and offered his condolences to those who were wounded and to their families, praying that the Lord might give them ‘comfort and consolation in their trials.’ The telegram was sent by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin.

The Pope condemned yet again ‘the violence which causes so much suffering’ and prayed that God ‘might grant the gift of peace.’ He sent ‘divine blessings’ for the families of the victims.

So far 38 people are thought to have died in Sousse, a Tunisian beach resort—with that figure expected to rise—after Mr Rezgui, a 23-year-old student, opened fire.

Billy and Lisa Graham, from Bankfoot, Perthshire, died in the attack, and Cumbernauld couple Jim and Ann McQuire were later confirmed to be among those killed by Mr Rezgui before he was fatally shot by Tunisian police. Mr Rezgui’s father, who has been detained for questioning, has said that he is ‘ashamed’ of his son’s actions and wished ‘it had never happened.’

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth has sent her ‘sincere condolences’ to the families of those killed in the beach massacre. Other countries affected by the shooting include Belgium,

Germany, Ireland and Ukraine. Prayers were said last Sunday at Abronhill Parish Church in Cumbernauld where Jim and Ann McQuire were members of the Church of Scotland congregation.

Billy and Lisa Graham are being mourned in their hometown of Bankfoot, Perth and Kinross.

Glasgow Churches Together (GCT), the city’s leading group uniting Christian denominations including the Catholic Church, also expressed its condolences after the terror attack on tourists in Tunisia.

“We are united in sorrow and in prayer for the victims of the horrendous atrocities in Tunisia and in a special way with their families and loved ones,” GCT said in a statement. “We pray for those who witnessed the attack and those who so courageously came to the aid of others. Words can fail us on hearing such tragic news, but we recognise the importance of prayer and togetherness in our support for all those affected.”

 

—ian@sconews.co.uk

 

—This story ran in full in the July 3 edition print of the SCO, available in parishes.

 

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