Pope Francis prays for Russia after gun attack

2016-12-20 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has expressed his condolences to the family of the Russian ambassador to Turkey who was shot dead by a police officer at an art exhibition.

In a message sent by the Holy See’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, to Russian president Vladimir Putin, the Pope said he was “saddened to learn of the violent attack in Ankara, which resulted in the death of Ambassador Andrei Karlov”. He assured the people of the Russian Federation of his prayers and “spiritual solidarity” at this time.

The attack on Monday night was carried out by a man in a suit believed to be an-off duty police officer. Footage captured of the incident shows Mevlut Mert Altintas, 22, firing at least eight shots while shouting in Turkish: “Don’t forget Aleppo. Don’t forget Syria.” He was shortly after killed by special forces.

Karlov had previously served as an ambassador to North Korea.

The full statement by Cardinal Pietro Parolin is published below:

His Excellency Vladimir Putin
President of the Russian Federation
Moscow

His Holiness Pope Francis was saddened to learn of the violent attack in Ankara, which resulted in the death of Ambassador Andrei Karlov.  His Holiness sends condolences to all who mourn his loss, and in a special way to the members of Ambassador Karlov’s family.  In commending his soul to Almighty God, Pope Francis assures you and all the people of the Russian Federation of his prayers and spiritual solidarity at this time. 

Cardinal Pietro Parolin
Secretary of State

(from Vatican Radio)