.- Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela of Madrid, Spain, together with his auxiliary bishops, expressed sadness over the shooting of a pregnant woman as she prayed before Mass at a Madrid parish.
The bishops gave “thanks to God” for the actions of emergency responders who saved the life of the pregnant woman’s child.
The incident occurred Thursday, Sept. 29 at approximately 8 p.m.
The Spanish newspaper ABC reported that the gunman, wearing a straw hat, casual clothing and carrying a pistol inside a sports racket cover, walked into the Madrid church and shot dead 36-year-old Jazmin Rocio Piñeiro at point blank range as she sat in a pew before Mass. She was only days away from giving birth. Rocio’s husband, who came to the scene, had to be treated by doctors.
The gunman then turned the weapon on himself.
Paramedics were unable to save the mother but did manage to deliver her unborn baby by emergency caesarean section. The baby boy went into cardio-pulmonary arrest at birth but the medical team was able to resuscitate him with a heart massage.
In their Sept. 30 statement the bishops expressed sorrow over the tragic incident and offered condolences to the woman’s husband and family members. Priests at the parish were able to administer last rites to the mother and baptize the baby.
The bishops also offered prayers to God for the eternal repose of the victim, “that the Lord may grant the gift of consolation and hope in eternal life to her husband, her newborn son and their family.”
They also prayed for the speedy recovery of a third shooting victim in the church and for God’s forgiveness for the shooter.