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Pope Francis prays for pilgrims who died in Italian bus crash

By on Tuesday, 30 July 2013

People crowd a sport hall set up for the funeral service of some of the victims of Sunday's bus crash, in Pozzuoli, near Naples (Photo: PA)

People crowd a sport hall set up for the funeral service of some of the victims of Sunday's bus crash, in Pozzuoli, near Naples (Photo: PA)

Pope Francis has sent a message of condolence for the victims of a bus crash which killed 38 pilgrims in Italy on Sunday.

According to reports, the pilgrims were on their way home from the Padre Pio shrine when their bus plunged from an elevated stretch of motorway in Irpinia, a mountainous region in Campania, in southern Italy. Another 19 people were reported seriously injured, including passengers of nearby vehicles.

The Pope’s message, signed by Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone and sent to the Cardinal Archbishop of Naples, Cresenzio Sepe, said: “Learning of the sad news of the dramatic accident which occurred on the A16 Naples-Canosa motorway viaduct, in which many people died, some of which were children, the Holy Father shares the profound pain that has struck the Campania region, while ensuring his fervent prayers for the many victims.

“The Holy Father prays that they will be granted eternal rest and invokes a special Apostolic Blessing that the Lord will heal the injured and give comfort to those who mourn loved ones.”

The tour bus carrying about 50 pilgrims was heading back to Naples after a three-day pilgrimage to Catholic shrines, including Pietralcina, birthplace of Padre Pio. The cause of the accident is yet to be confirmed.

  • Kat E. Kish

    It’s so tragic to see two coach bus accidents happen (one in Indianapolis, USA and this one) so close in time to one another. It’s absurd to think that many coach buses on the road are still without basic seatbelt safety. It’s time to raise awareness about this important issue and give these passengers a choice in their own personal safety. http://ow.ly/nmq4D

  • Barry Lyons

    Why pray? If this “god” you speak of has a plan, obviously this tragedy was part of it.

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    Why do you implicitly deny the dogma of Free Will ?

  • Barry Lyons

    I haven’t denied anything. I’m just asking a question.

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    You’ve clearly denied the existence of God in your previous post, for starters…

  • Barry Lyons

    That is inaccurate, but I understand the confusion. I haven’t “denied” anything here — which, the dictionary tells me, is “the refusal to admit to the truth or existence of something”. I have said that this god you speak of does not exist. Therefore, I cannot deny that which is not true in the first place.

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    CRIPES atheistic pedantry is mind-destroying …

  • Barry Lyons

    It would appear that with your crass quasi-homophone “(“Cripes”) that you may have just taken the name of your lord in vain. I’m not sure what Catholic “theology” has to say about this, but it seems to me that a mere change in spelling for the word you really wanted to say may not get you off the hook. Hmm. A venial sin? Time for the confession booth? I have no idea. But next time, just come right out with it and don’t hold back: Christ!

    It’s too bad but it appears that ad hominem attacks are the best that you can do. My final comment about “souls” in that other post was calm and measured — and you insulted me by saying I needed to take a pill (and thereby neatly dodged what I wrote; no surprise there). This time I wrote a calm and measured (and accurate) explanation about the word “denial”, and you came back with a disguised swear word — and another insult! My, my. Such a lack of manners! Gee, I thought being a Christian meant extolling the virtues of kindness and compassion. Guess not. Oh, and as for the dictionary being a cause of “mind-destroying” atheism, that’s news to me.

    In the meantime, it should be clear to any reader of The Catholic Herald that this make-believe activity called “prayer” doesn’t work. Perhaps it makes believers feel better (in the same way meditation would), but prayer doesn’t actually affect the external world. Not only is it ineffective, it is also a very narcissistic practice. After all, why would this god you speak of change his “divine plan” to accommodate any person’s wishes? That’s a good question, and a sign of a healthy, non-atrophied brain that hasn’t succumbed to the virus of religious belief.

    Oh, and the next time you say a prayer, think of an innocent child somewhere in the world who has died of cancer during that moment. God’s plan? Well, it’s a pretty cruel plan if you ask me.

  • Barry Lyons

    If you were to kindly track back in this comment space for this post, you will see that I was the first to ask a question: “Why pray?”, which was followed by a statement to clarify the nature of my question. My question was never answered.

  • Barry Lyons

    That last long comment that I left for the other post, where you responded with an insult, was calm and measured.

    And with that, I am out of here.

  • Barry Lyons

    Analysis on the madness of “prayer” continues at Jerry Coyne’s blog “Why Evolution is True” (it’s a comment about Tanya Luhrmann’s strange op-ed for today’s New York Times):

    http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2013/08/04/tanya-luhrmann-recommends-prayer-for-atheists/

    I will not respond to comments here at the CH, but if anyone wants to leave a comment at Jerry’s post, I will happily respond there.