Pope Sends Letter of Condolence to Parents of Steven Sotloff Says He Was “Deeply Saddened” to Learn of Their Son’s Death, Urges All to Pray and Work for Peace

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 09, 2014 (Zenit.org) – Pope Francis has sent a letter of condolence to the family of Steven Sotloff, the second American journalist beheaded by the Islamic State (ISIS).

The letter, signed on the Pope’s behalf by the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, was sent on Sept. 5.

The cardinal says that the Pope was “deeply saddened” to learn of the “tragic death” and passes on his “prayerful condolences.” He also says the Pope urges all to “reject violence, aggression and lack of compassion” and to work and pray instead for “forgiveness, healing and peace.”

The Pope’s condolences were sent via the Apostolic Nuncio in the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, to the Archdiocese of Miami, where the Sotloff family lives. Archbishop Thomas Wenski then delivered the letter to the Sotloff family’s rabbi, Terry Bookman, who is giving the letter to the family, Newsmax reports.

The full text of the letter:

“His Holiness Pope Francis was deeply saddened to learn of the tragic death of your son and brother, Steven Joel, and he has asked me to convey to you his prayerful condolences. He entrusts Steven’s soul to the Lord and offers prayers for you and all who mourn his death.

“His Holiness urges people everywhere to reject violence, aggression and lack of compassion, and asks each one to pray and work for forgiveness, healing and peace. Upon you and your loved ones, he invokes the Almighty’s blessings of consolation and strength.”

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