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Pope Expresses "Spiritual Closeness" to Florida School Massacre Victims

Friday, February 23, 2018, 13:59 (IST)

Pope Francis condemned the "senseless violence" and has expressed his "spiritual closeness" to the family members of the victims of a high school massacre in Parkland, Florida, which resulted in the death of 17 people.

On Feb. 14 afternoon, a 19-year-old Nicholas Cruz entered the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, just North of Miami, and opened fire against the crowd using a semi-automatic weapon, resulting in 17 deaths and many more wounded and in critical condition.

The pope condemned the "senseless violence," in the hope that it might not happen again.

"Assuring all those affected by this devastating attack of his spiritual closeness, [the pope] prays that Almighty God may grant eternal rest to the dead and healing and consolation to the wounded and those who grieve," read a telegram signed by Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Parolin.

"With the hope that such senseless acts of violence may cease, Pope Francis invokes upon all of you the divine blessings of peace and strength," it read, according to Crux.

The attack was the eighteenth to take place in the U.S. this year.