Click here if you don’t see subscription options
A woman reacts after identifying the body of a loved one at Sri Uthai temple in Na Klang, Thailand.A woman reacts after identifying the body of a loved one at Sri Uthai temple in Na Klang, Thailand, Oct. 7, 2022, following a mass shooting in Uthai Sawan. A former police officer facing a drug charge burst into the daycare center Oct. 6, killing more than 30 people, including preschoolers, in the deadliest rampage in the nation's history. (CNS photo/Athit Perawongmetha, Reuters)

VATICAN CITY (CNS)—Pope Francis said he was “deeply saddened” after hearing the news of one of the world’s worst mass shootings at a daycare center in northeast Thailand.

In a message sent Oct. 7 by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, the pope offered prayers for the victims “of the horrific attack” that claimed the lives of 36 people, including at least 24 children, Oct. 6.

The pope “offers his heartfelt condolences and the assurance of his spiritual closeness to all those affected by this act of unspeakable violence against innocent children,” the cardinal wrote.

According to an AP report Oct. 7, Panya Kamrap, a former policeman, went to the daycare, where his child was enrolled but had been absent for the past month, before going on a shooting and stabbing rampage. He then went home where he shot and killed his wife and child before turning the gun on himself.

Authorities said Kamrap was dismissed from the police force earlier this year after a drug charge against him and that he was scheduled to appear in court Oct. 7 to face that charge, Reuters reported.

Cardinal Parolin said the pope prayed that God may grant “divine healing and consolation” to the grieving families and the injured.

Pope Francis “prays that, in this hour of immense sadness, they may draw support and strength from the solidarity of their neighbors and fellow citizens,” Cardinal Parolin wrote. “Upon all the beloved Thai people, the Holy Father invokes the blessings of peace and perseverance in every good.”

The latest from america

A Homily for the First Sunday of Advent, by Father Terrance Klein
Terrance KleinNovember 29, 2023
Pope Francis joins others in holding a banner during an audience at the Vatican June 5, 2023, with the organizers of the Green & Blue Festival. The banner calls for financing a "loss and damage" fund that was agreed upon at the COP27 U.N. climate conference in 2022. The fund would seek to provide financial assistance to nations most vulnerable and impacted by the effects of climate change. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)
With COP28 in the United Arab Emirates imminent, opinion in the developed world on climate change has become deeply polarized. Perhaps exhausted by the digital news cycle, many people have developed compassion fatigue.
David StewartNovember 29, 2023
This 1994 article by Dennis Hamm, S.J., on praying the examen has become a resource in countless classrooms and retreat centers.
Dennis Hamm, SJNovember 29, 2023
Black survivors have been nearly invisible in the Catholic Church sexual abuse crisis — even in Baltimore, home to a historic Black Catholic community that plays an integral role in the nation’s oldest archdiocese.