In unusually vivid language, the Vatican said Sunday that Pope Francis reacted in “horror” after the learning of the massacre of 49 people at a nightclub in Orlando.
“The terrible massacre that has taken place in Orlando, with its dreadfully high number of innocent victims, has caused in Pope Francis, and in all of us, the deepest feelings of horror and condemnation, of pain and turmoil before this new manifestation of homicidal folly and senseless hatred,” the Holy See Press Office said in a statement.
The Vatican also said that Pope Francis joins the victims’ families in prayer.
“We all hope that ways may be found, as soon as possible, to effectively identify and contrast the causes of such terrible and absurd violence which so deeply upsets the desire for peace of the American people and of the whole of humanity.”
The suspected gunman, Omar Mateen, pledged allegiance to ISIS on the night of the shooting, according to a U.S. official.
In addition to the 50 killed, at least 53 people were injured by the shooting at Pulse, a gay night club in Orlando. It is the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.