Belgian bishops express “anguish” over Brussels attacks; Pope Francis sends condolences

Pope Francis “condemns the blind violence which causes so much suffering.”

The bishops of Belgium “share the anguish” of the victims of two terrorist attacks in Brussels today, and have asked for prayers “in this dramatic new situation,” according to a statement.

The attacks, which occurred at Brussels’ international airport and at a metro station, killed at least 30 and wounded more than 200 more, according to reports. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the violence.

Here is the full statement of the Belgian bishops released in the wake of today’s attacks (translation via Vatican Radio):

The bishops of Belgium are appalled to learn of the attack at Zaventem airport and in the center of Brussels. They share the anguish of thousands of travelers and their families, aviation professionals and the first responders who are once again called to service. They entrust the victims to the prayers of all in this new dramatic situation. Airport chaplains are every day at the service of all and provide the necessary spiritual support. May the whole country live these days with a great sense of civic responsibility.

Pope Francis also sent condolences to the victims and their families. In a statement signed by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Holy Father condemned “the blind violence which causes so much suffering” and offered prayers for peace:

Learning of the attacks in Brussels, which have affected many people, His Holiness Pope Francis entrusts to God’s mercy those who died and he prays for those who have lost relatives. He expresses his deepest sympathy to the injured and their families, and all those who contribute to relief efforts, asking the Lord to bring them comfort and consolation in this ordeal. The Holy Father again condemns the blind violence which causes so much suffering and imploring from God the gift of peace, he entrusts on the bereaved families and the Belgians the benefit of divine blessings.


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About Catherine Harmon 577 Articles
Catherine Harmon is managing editor of Catholic World Report.