(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis was “shocked and profoundly saddened” by the murder of four Missionaries of Charity and twelve other people at a home for the elderly in Aden, Yemen.
Gunmen entered the building on Friday and went room-to-room, handcuffing victims before shooting them in the head.
A message signed by the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, said the Holy Father “sends the assurance of his prayers for the dead and his spiritual closeness to their families and to all affected from this act of senseless and diabolical violence.”
The message said Pope Francis “prays that this pointless slaughter will awaken consciences, lead to a change of heart, and inspire all parties to lay down their arms and take up the path of dialogue.”
It concludes with a strong appeal for an end to the ongoing violence in Yemen.
“In the name of God, he calls upon all parties in the present conflict to renounce violence, and to renew their commitment to the people of Yemen, particularly those most in need, whom the Sisters and their helpers sought to serve” – the message reads – “Upon everyone suffering from this violence, the Holy Father invokes God’s blessing, and in a special ways he extends to the Missionaries of Charity his prayerful sympathy and solidarity.”