WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Catholics joined Pope Francis and the rest of the world in expressing sorrow for those killed and severely injured in the latest terrorist attacks in London the night of June 3.
“The vigil of Pentecost had barely begun when the world was burdened yet again, this time by the sinister attacks on innocent men and women in the heart of London,” Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said in an early June 4 statement.
“In such tragic hours, we implore the Holy Spirit to pour out his gift of comfort on those who grieve the loss of loved ones and on the dozens who were so tragically injured in this horrible attack,” he said. “At the same time, we see in the courage of the first responders the true and courageous spirit of our brothers and sisters, the people of Great Britain.”
After celebrating Mass on Pentecost, June 4, with an estimated 60,000 people in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis offered public prayers for the victims of the attacks in London that left seven people dead and 48 others injured.
“May the Holy Spirit grant peace to the whole world,” he said. “May He heal the wounds of war and of terrorism, which even last night in London struck innocent civilians. Let us pray for the victims and their families.”
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In his statement, DiNardo said U.S. Catholics joined in the pope’s prayers for the victims and survivors, and he added: “May God grant strength, wisdom and protection to the men and women who safeguard our families and may he convert the hearts of all who follow the path of evil extremism. Our solidarity in Christian hope and commitment to peace is a bond that cannot be broken.”
In New York, WABC-TV’s “Eyewitness News” reported that a college student from Brooklyn who attends Jesuit-run Boston College was at a pub with some of his classmates in London’s Borough Market when terrorists came in with long knives and started attacking people.
The attackers first mowed people down on the London Bridge in a white van, then left the van to go on a killing spree in Borough Market, according to news reports.
As others fled the pub scene or huddled in fear, Mark Kindschuh, 19, of Bay Ridge, stayed to help a man he saw fighting for his life, the TV station reported.
“All I could see was one man at the front on the ground with a pool of blood forming,” Kindschuh told WABC-TV. “You couldn’t really see it, because there was so much blood around his head, but I searched around with my hands, and it was on the back of his head.”
Kindschuh said he took his belt and wrapped it around the victim’s head to slow the bleeding, then shouted to the crowd asking if anyone was a doctor. He stayed with the victim and a short while later police entered the bar.
His father, Dr. Mark Kindschuh, who is director of Coney Island Hospital’s Emergency Department, told WABC he was proud that his son stayed with the injured man and showed such selflessness amid the panic.