International News

Pope Implores ‘Healing and Consolation’ in Wake of U.S. Mass Shooting

Candles and mementos are left at the entrance of the Star Ballroom in Monterey Park, Calif., Jan. 24, 2023, near the scene of a mass shooting. The shooting left at least at least 11 people dead, 9 others injured late Jan. 21, in a neighborhood where thousands attended festivities on eve of Lunar New Year. (Photo: OSV News)

PROSPECT HEIGHTS — Pope Francis has offered his prayers and support to all those who were affected by the recent mass shooting in Monterey Park, California, where 11 people were killed.

“Assuring those affected by this tragedy of his spiritual closeness, His Holiness joins the entire community in commending the souls of those who died to almighty God’s loving mercy, and he implores the divine gifts of healing and consolation upon the injured and bereaved,” Pope Francis wrote in a Jan. 25 telegram to Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles.

“As a pledge of strength and peace in the Lord, the Holy Father sends his blessing,” reads the missive, signed by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin.

Eleven people — five men and six women — were killed on Jan. 21 at a Lunar New Year celebration at the Star Ballroom Studio. Ten of the victims were pronounced dead at the scene. The 11th victim succumbed to her injuries nearly two days later. The victims were people in their 50s, 60s, and 70s.