Vatican City, 22 July 2012 (VIS) - After praying the Angelus today, the Holy Father spoke of his profound shock at "the senseless violence which took place in Aurora, Denver", and at "the loss of life in the recent ferry disaster near Zanzibar. I share the distress of the families and friends of the victims and the injured, especially the children. Assuring all of you of my closeness in prayer, I impart my blessing as a pledge of consolation and strength in the risen Lord".

The Holy Father then went on to note that in a few days time the thirtieth Olympic Games are due to begin in London, England. "The Olympics", he said, "are the greatest sporting event in the world, in which athletes from many different nations participate, and thus they have great symbolic value. For this reason the Catholic Church looks to the to Olympics with particular sympathy and interest. Let us pray that, according to God’s will, the London Olympics may be a true experience of brotherhood among the peoples of the Earth".

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