Source: USCCB/Vatican Media
Pope Francis and the US Catholic Bishops have expressed their condolences at the death of former US president George Herbert Walker Bush who died on 30 November at the age of 94. Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin sent a telegram on behalf of Pope Francis to the US bishops expressing the Pope's sorrow and promises of prayers.
"Saddened to learn of the death of former President George HW Bush, His Holiness Pope Francis offers heartfelt condolences and the assurance of his prayers to all the Bush family. 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," read the telegram on the occasion of the state funeral in Washington DC on Wednesday.
Cardinal Daniel N DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, issued the following statement:
"We join with people across the nation as we mourn the passing of President George HW Bush. We remember with gratitude this great man who spent his life selflessly in service of his country. With an unwavering commitment to building bridges of peace and ensuring our nation's freedoms, he also inspired many as a devoted husband, father and family patriarch.
On behalf of my brother bishops of the United States, we pray for the repose of the soul of our 41st president as we remember a life well lived.
We also offer our deepest sympathy and prayers for his bereaved family and all those who mourn his passing. May you find peace and comfort in the consoling love of Jesus Christ."
Wednesday 5 December was declared a day of mourning in the US as the funeral took place in the National Cathedral in Washington DC From there, the body of the former President will be brought to his home state Texas to lie in public repose, before being laid to rest at the George HW Presidential Library.
Bush served as President of the US from 1989 to 1993. Prior to this, he had served as a senator, ambassador to the UN, Director of the CIA, and Vice President under President Ronald Reagan.
His presidency coincided with the pontificate of Pope St John Paul II, and the two met on several occasions, among them two visits of the President to the Vatican.
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