Pope expresses condolences for death of former President Bush

Former U.S. President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush stand at the flag-draped casket of former U.S. President George H.W. Bush as he lies in state inside the U.S. Capitol rotunda Dec. 4 in Washington. George H.W. Bush, the 41st president of the United States, died in his Houston home Nov. 30 at age 94. (CNS photo/Yuri Gripas, Reuters)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis expressed his condolences for the death of the 41st president of the United States, George H.W. Bush.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, sent a telegram to the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, telling him the pope was "saddened to learn of the death" of the former president.

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"Pope Francis offers heartfelt condolences and the assurance of his prayers to all the Bush family," he said in the telegram published by the Vatican Dec. 5.

"Commending President Bush's soul to the merciful love of almighty God, His Holiness invokes upon all who mourn his passing the divine blessings of strength and peace," Cardinal Parolin wrote.

Bush died Nov. 30, at the age of 94 at his home in Houston. He was to be honored with a state funeral in Washington Dec. 5.

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