The Pope Francis has said he was “deeply saddened” for the victims of the last Sunday violent attack at the Catholic Church of St. Philip in Ozubulu, Anambra State.
The attack which occurred during the morning Mass, led to the death of at least 12 people and many wounded in what has been tied to drug-related organized crime.
In a telegram obtained by Daily Trust, the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN), the Pope in the message sent on his behalf today by Vatican Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, “extends his sincere condolences” to Bishop Hilary Paul Odili Okeke, Bishop of Nnewi, “and to all the faithful of the Diocese of Nnewi, especially to the families of the deceased and to all those affected by this tragedy.”
In the telegram, the Pontiff invoked divine blessings of consolation and strength on the whole diocese.
On his part the President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) Rev Ignatius Ayau Kaigama condemned the attacks saying it was shocking and saddening.
“This attack is terribly inhuman and barbaric and we condemn the killings wholeheartedly” Kaigama in a statement by the Director of Communications of the secretariat Rev. Chris Anyanwu said.
He offered his thoughts and condolences to the Bishop of Nnewi, Most Rev Hilary Okeke, the priests, religious and entire laity of Nnewi diocese.
“Despite these attacks, Catholics in Nigeria will continue to be strong and committed Christians. We urge them to be ready and willing to continue to show their commitment to Jesus through a life of witness.” Kaigama said.
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