A telegramme signed by Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, on behalf of the pope expresses his closeness to the Algerian people after the nation’s worst ever air disaster killed 257 people.
In the message addressed to the Archbishop of Algiers, Paul Desfarges, the pope said it was with great sadness that he received the news of the plane crash on Wednesday in Algiers and that he joins the people of Algeria in mourning.
257 people were killed when the Algerian military plane came down just after taking off from an airport west of the capital. An inquiry is under way into the cause of the crash – Algeria’s worst-ever air disaster. The government has declared three days of national mourning.
In the telegram the pope said he is praying for all the families of the victims and for all the people affected by this tragedy. He asked the Lord to welcome those who have died into his peace and to comfort those who are seriously wounded.
Francis also invoked divine assistance for those assisting the injured, and finally called for the abundance of the gifts of the Spirit on the Algerian Church and for consolation for the entire nation.