Pope Francis Condoles With Muslims Over Hajj Deaths

Pope Francis has expressed “closeness” with the world’s Muslims after more than 700 pilgrims were killed in a stampede outside the Islamic holy city of Mecca.

He said this during an evening prayer service yesterday, Thursday, at New York’s St Patrick’s Cathedral. The pope stated that, “my sentiments of closeness in the face of the tragedy that their people suffered today in Mecca.”

“In this moment of prayer, I unite myself with you all in prayer to God, our father, all powerful and merciful.”

Over an intense 40 hours, beginning with the prayer service at St Patrick’s Cathedral, the pope will address world leaders at the UN, participate in an interfaith service at the September 11 memorial museum at Ground Zero, and celebrate mass at Madison Square Garden.

The pope, who is making his first trip to the US, planned to visit a school today and take a processional drive through Central Park.