(Vatican Radio) The Holy See’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin has sent a message of condolence on behalf of Pope Francis for the family of the U.S. journalist James Foley, brutally executed by Islamic State militants. The message was read out Sunday at a memorial mass for Foley at the family’s Catholic parish, Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Church in Rochester, New Hampshire. The letter, addressed to the Bishop of Rockeville Centre, William Francis Murphy, reads:
“The Holy Father, deeply saddened by the death of James Wright Foley, asks you kindly to convey his personal condolences and the assurance of his closeness in prayer to James’ loved ones. He commends James to the loving mercy of God our Father, and joins all who mourn him in praying for an end to senseless violence and the dawn of reconciliation and peace among all the members of the human family. Upon the Foley family, and upon his friends and colleagues, he invokes the consolation and strength borne of our hope in Christ’s Resurrection.”
The Director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi confirmed last week that Pope Francis had made a private phone call to James’ parents, Diane and John Foley, to personally express his condolences.
Foley, a 40 year old journalist, was covering the conflict in Syria when he was abducted two years ago.