(JTA) – Pope Francis led prayers for Pittsburgh in St. Peter’s Square, in the wake of an attack on a synagogue there that left 11 worshippers dead.
The head of the Catholic Church said Sunday morning that “all of us are wounded by this inhuman act of violence.”
On Sunday, after reciting the prayer The Angelus, the Pope said: “I express my closeness to the city of Pittsburgh, in the United States of America, and in particular to the Jewish community, hit yesterday by a terrible attack in the synagogue. The Most High welcomes the dead in his peace, comfort their families and support the wounded. In reality, we are all wounded by this inhumane act of violence. May the Lord help us to extinguish the outbreaks of hatred that develop in our societies, strengthening the sense of humanity, respect for life, moral and civil values, and the holy fear of God, who is Love and Father of all. “
The Argentinian-born pope, who formerly was named Jorge Bergoglio and who was the former archbishop of Buenos Aires, was close to the victims of the terrorist attack on a Jewish target in his hometown.
“Terrorism is lunacy. Terrorism’s only purpose is to kill. It does not build anything, it only destroys. For this reason, I stand side by side with all those who have seen lives cut short, hopes destroyed, and ruin. Today, together with my solidarity and my prayers for all the victims, comes my desire for justice. May justice be done!” the Pope said in July 2014 in a video message that was shown during the public demonstration for justice on the 20th anniversary of the terror attack on AMIA, the Buenos Aires Jewish centre.
In 2005, Francis was the first public personality to sign a petition for justice in the AMIA bombing case, which officially remains unsolved.
Iran and Hezbollah are said to have been behind the attack that killed 85 and officially remains unsolved.