.- Pope Benedict XVI’s own words of condolence were read at the beginning of a funeral Mass, held this morning, during which Italy laid to rest two of its soldiers. Both lost their lives in a May 5th attack in Kabul, Afghanistan.
The message, sent by the Vatican’s Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano, was read by Archbishop Angelo Bagnasco, who is military ordinary for Italy, at St. Mary of the Angels Church in Rome.
Cardinal Sodano begins the telegram: "Having learned the news of the ignoble attack on the Italian convoy in Kabul, which caused the death of two soldiers of the Alpine Regiment, the Supreme Pontiff wishes to communicate to parents and relatives an expression of his personal participation in their profound suffering.”
Pope Benedict also wished to “convey his heartfelt condolences for the grave mourning which has once again struck the entire nation of Italy, and especially the armed forces committed to upholding, with generous self-sacrifice, actions of peace among sorely tried peoples.”
The Cardinal said that Benedict assures “his fervent prayers that the Lord may welcome to eternal life the young victims who sacrificed their own lives,” and “invokes heavenly comfort upon those weeping their dramatic death.”
The Pope also sent his personal apostolic blessing, “with a special thought for the soldiers wounded in the attack."