The Pope’s official statement on the terror attacks in Orlando failed to even acknowledge that the attack was homophobic or that it took place in a gay club.
50 people were killed and 53 injured yesterday in the shocking terrorist hate crime attack, which saw a gunman open fire inside The Pulse gay bar in Orlando, Florida.
ISIS has since claimed responsibility for the attack, which was perpetrated by US citizen Omar Mateen. The majority of the victims were Latino.
In his role as the head of the Catholic Church, the Pope released an official statement on the killings yesterday… but it failed to actually mention that any the victims were gay, or that the shooting was homophobic, or that it took place in a gay bar.
The statement said: “The terrible massacre that has taken place in Orlando, with its dreadfully high number of innocent victims, has caused in Pope Francis, and in all of us, the deepest feelings of horror and condemnation, of pain and turmoil before this new manifestation of homicidal folly and senseless hatred.
“Pope Francis joins the families of the victims and all of the injured in prayer and in compassion. Sharing in their indescribable suffering he entrusts them to the Lord so they may find comfort.
“We all hope that ways may be found, as soon as possible, to effectively identify and contrast the causes of such terrible and absurd violence which so deeply upsets the desire for peace of the American people and of the whole of humanity.
“The attack, which took place early Sunday in a crowded nightclub, was perpetrated by a gunman wielding an assault-type rifle and a handgun.
“Authorities are reportedly investigating the attack as an act of terrorism. Officials said at least 53 other people were hospitalized, most in critical condition. A surgeon at Orlando Regional Medical Center said the death toll was likely to climb.”
The Pope controversially scrapped plans in 2014 to liberalize teaching on homosexuality – which the Catholic Church teaches is ‘intrinsically disordered’. The Church has continued to aggressively battle against LGBT rights legislation around the world.
The religious leader’s statement is contrasted with those from other global figures, who directly acknowledged the hate crime element of the attack.
President Obama said: “This is an especially heartbreaking day for all our friends – our fellow Americans – who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. The shooter targeted a nightclub where people came together to be with friends, to dance and to sing, and to live.
“The place where they were attacked is more than a nightclub – it is a place of solidarity and empowerment where people have come together to raise awareness, to speak their minds, and to advocate for their civil rights.
“So this is a sobering reminder that attacks on any American – regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation – is an attack on all of us and on the fundamental values of equality and dignity that define us as a country. And no act of hate or terror will ever change who we are or the values that make us Americans.”
Canada’s Justin Trudeau said: “It is appalling that as many as 50 lives may have been lost to this domestic terror attack targeting the LGBTQ2 community.
“On behalf of the Government of Canada, Sophie and I offer our condolences and prayers to the families and friends of those lost today, and wish a full recovery to all those injured. We stand in solidarity with Orlando and the LGBTQ2 community. We grieve with our friends in the United States and Florida, and offer any assistance we can provide.”
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said: “I strongly condemn the horrific shooting in Orlando, Florida. I grieve with all those who lost loved ones, the LGBT community, and the American people. My thoughts are with the many who were injured in this act of terror.”