.- The Vatican made public this morning a message from Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, on behalf of Pope Benedict XVI. The Holy Father has assured Richmond Bishop Francis DiLorenzo of his “heartfelt prayers” for all the victims, their families, and the Virginia Tech community.
“Deeply saddened by the news of the shooting at Virginia Tech,” the statement begins, “His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI has asked me to convey the assurance of his heartfelt prayers for the victims, their families and for the entire school community.”
“In the aftermath of this senseless tragedy,” the message continues, the Pope, “asks God our Father to console all those who mourn and to grant them that spiritual strength which triumphs over violence by the power of forgiveness, hope, and reconciling love.”
The university and police officials confirmed this morning that Cho Seung-Hui, 23, a Virginia Tech senior and South Korea native is thought to be responsible for the killing of two people at a university dormitory and the subsequent murder of at least 30 people locked inside a classroom building.
The murders constitute the deadliest shooting rampage in modern U.S. history.
Bishop DiLorenzo will visit the Virginia Tech campus this coming weekend, and offer a Mass for the entire community.