Pope Francis has expressed horror and condemnation following Sunday's attack in a nightclub in Orlando, Florida, which caused the deaths of 49 people and left more than 50 injured, some critically.

The director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, SJ, issued the following statement: 

"The terrible massacre that has taken place in Orlando, with its dreadfully high number of innocent victims, has caused in Pope Francis, and in all of us, the deepest feelings of horror and condemnation, of pain and turmoil before this new manifestation of homicidal folly and senseless hatred. 

"Pope Francis joins the families of the victims and all of the injured in prayer and in compassion. Sharing in their indescribable suffering he entrusts them to the Lord so they may find comfort. We all hope that ways may be found, as soon as possible, to effectively identify and contrast the causes of such terrible and absurd violence which so deeply upsets the desire for peace of the American people and of the whole of humanity."

The president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, Most Rev. Douglas Crosby, has written a letter of condolence to the Bishop of Orlando, Most Rev. John Noonan, calling the murders "a source of deep sadness for all who uphold the inherent value and dignity of every human life."

"Please be assured of my prayers, those of your brother bishops as well as all the
faithful of our country, for the souls of the deceased, for healing for the wounded, for
comfort for the victims’ families, for strength for law enforcement and medical staff, and
for the resilience of the American people."

"We unite ourselves to you and your faithful in supplication to the Blessed Mother,
Our Lady of Sorrows, for consolation and hope. May St. James, Son of Zebedee and
patron of the Diocese of Orlando, intercede with us that such a crime may never happen