Pope grieves over WYD bus accident in French Guiana

Vatican City, Jul 18, 2013 / 11:14 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis shared his condolences after hearing of a deadly traffic accident in French Guiana involving a bus that was taking young people to World Youth Day.

“His Holiness Pope Francis shares wholeheartedly in the pain of the families afflicted by the death of one of their own, and in that of the leaders and organizers of the group,” read the July 18 message.

“The Pope assures them of his prayers and he expresses his deepest sympathy to those injured, to the rescuers and to all those around them.”

Pope Francis sent the message of condolence to the Bishop of Cayenne, the country’s capital, through the Vatican’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.

A bus carrying young people to World Youth Day in the northeast South American country was hit head-on by a truck. The collision – the cause of which is still unknown – resulted in the death of a young Parisian girl and three other people were severely injured.

The accident occurred about 60 kilometers, or 37 miles, from Saint-Laurent du Maroni, on the main road connecting the commune to Cayenne.

“Pledging to comfort, the Holy Father imparts a particular apostolic blessing to all those affected by this drama,” the message said.

Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois, the Archbishop of Paris, will lead a prayer vigil organized by the victims’ parish in France on the evening of July 18.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, the Bishop of Cayenne, Bishop Emmanuel Lafont, will offer Mass at the Cathedral.

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