Cardinal Jose Advincula of the Archdiocese of Manila expressed his condolences to the families of the victims of the Pentecost Sunday massacre in Nigeria on June 5.
“I am one in the sadness of the families and the people of the country,” said the prelate in a statement broadcast over Church-run Radio Veritas 846.
He said it is “sad” that on Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came with the spirit of peace and love, “the spirit of violence, cruelty, and anger” came.
“We hope that we will be able to understand that everyone needs to be in solidarity with others and live in safety and peace,” said Cardinal Advincula.
Pope Francis has earlier sent a telegram conveying his sorrow at the attack that took place in a Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo State, in Nigeria.
“In commending the souls of the dead to the loving mercy of Almighty God and imploring divine healing and consolation upon the injured and those who are grieving, [the Pope] prays for the conversion of those blinded by hatred and violence, so that they will choose instead the path of peace and righteousness,” read the telegram.
The deadly attack drew swift condemnation from both Church and civil authorities, and the Nigerian government has vowed to go after the perpetrators.
In the telegram, Pope Francis commended the souls of the dead to the loving mercy of God and implored “divine healing and consolation” upon those who are grieving.
The pope also prayed for the conversion “of those blinded by hatred and violence so that they will choose instead the path of peace and righteousness.”