Mourners attend a mass for the victims of the wedding hall fire in Qaraqosh Mourners attend a mass for the victims of the wedding hall fire in Qaraqosh  (AFP or licensors)

Pope sends telegram for victims of a devastating fire in Iraq

Pope Francis expresses his condolences following a devastating fire in Qaraqosh, Iraq, and extends his spiritual support to those affected.

By Francesca Merlo

In a heartfelt telegram of condolences, Pope Francis expressed his deep sorrow at the devastating effects of a recent fire that engulfed Qaraqosh, Iraq. The Holy Father conveyed his profound sympathy and spiritual support to all those affected by this tragic incident, underlining the importance of unity and compassion during these trying times.

The telegram was addressed to The Most Reverend Benedectos Younan Hano, Archbishop of Mossul of the Syriacs, and was signed by the Vatican Cardinal Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin.

In it, the Holy Father expresses his deep sadness upon learning "of the devastating effects of the fire in Qaraqosh, and he sends the assurance of his spiritual closeness to everyone affected by this tragedy."

Pope Francis's message of condolences continued by "entrusting the souls of the deceased to the loving mercy of Almighty God" and with "heartfelt condolences to those who mourn their loss."

Praising emergency services

Over 100 people have been confirmed dead after a fire broke out during a wedding in Qaraqosh, Iraq.

In his telegram, the Holy Father acknowledged the dedicated efforts of emergency personnel who have been tirelessly working to control the fire and assist the injured. He offered prayers for their safety and the success of their relief endeavors, recognizing the selflessness and bravery of those on the frontlines.

Pope Francis concluded the telegram by invoking divine blessings upon all those affected, seeking consolation, healing, and strength from the Almighty. 

"In these challenging moments, the Catholic Church stands with the people of Qaraqosh, exemplifying the timeless values of love, empathy, and unity that transcend borders and beliefs," concluded Pope Francis.

29 September 2023, 10:12