Pope Francis Condemns ‘Senseless Shooting,’ Calls for End of Violence After July 4th Parade Attack in Suburban Chicago

The Holy Father sent a telegram to Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich, asking the cardinal to convey his spiritual closeness to all affected by the mass shooting.

Law enforcement escorts a family away from the scene of a mass shooting at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois.
Law enforcement escorts a family away from the scene of a mass shooting at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois. (photo: Mark Borenstein / Getty Images)

Pope Francis has expressed shock and sadness over the mass shooting that led to the deaths of at least six people and wounded some 30 others at a Fourth of July parade in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park on Monday.

In a telegram sent on behalf of the Holy Father to Cardinal Blase Cupich, the archbishop of Chicago, the Pope condemned the “senseless shooting,” appealing for a rejection of all forms of violence.

The telegram was sent on his behalf by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, reported Vatican News. 

Pope Francis asked the cardinal to convey his spiritual closeness to all affected by this attack.

Robert E. Crimo III, a 22-year-old local, was apprehended late Monday in connection with the shooting. 

Crimo had been identified earlier in the day as a person of interest in the mass shooting.

The Pope’s telegram said he joined “the entire community in praying that Almighty God will grant eternal rest to the dead and healing and consolation to the injured and bereaved.” 

“With unwavering faith that the grace of God is able to convert even the hardest of hearts, making it possible to depart from evil and do good,” the message continued, Pope Francis prayed ”that every member of society will reject violence in all of its forms and respect life in all of its stages."

Pope Francis concluded by sending his apostolic blessing “as a pledge of strength and peace in the Lord.”

Highland Park is an affluent suburb about 25 miles north of Chicago along Lake Michigan.

In a statement, Cardinal Cupich of Chicago said he was praying for the victims and first responders. He also spoke out strongly against the scourge of gun violence.

In this screenshot, Cardinal Blase Cupich speaks at the March for Life Chicago on Jan. 8.

Cardinal Cupich Booed and Heckled by Some at March for Life Chicago

Interruptions began when Cardinal Cupich shared words of support for mask-wearers in the crowd. Also in his remarks Jan. 8, he referred to the possibility of ‘Roe’ reversal: ‘We have many reasons to be hopeful that the legal protections for the child in the womb, which we have advocated for decades, will soon become a reality.’