Pope Benedict XVI, the leader of the Catholic Church worldwide, has expressed deepest condolences to the families of Francesco Lamolinara, the Italian hostage killed last Thursday in the course of a failed rescue attempt in Sokoto, after being kidnapped alongside his British colleague.
The Pope’s message of condolences was contained in a text of a telegram sent by Cardinal Secretary of State, Tarcisio Bertone to Archbishop Enrico Masseroni of Vercelli, Italy, for the funeral of Mr. Lamolinara.
“Benedict XVI, informed of the tragic death of the engineer Francesco Lamolinara, wishes to express his deepest condolences to members of the late man’s family, and to assure them of his heartfelt participation in their mourning,” the telegram says.
Recalling the deceased’s generous openness towards others and his contribution to peaceful coexistence among peoples, the Pope prayed for Christian suffrage for his soul, sending his relatives and friends the comfort of an apostolic blessing. He extended the same prayer to everyone participating in the funeral and to the deceased’s fellow citizens of Gattinara.
“I too join the mourning and the prayers, and remain close to the relatives and friends whom I met last August to support them in their hope at that difficult moment,” the Pope added.