Pope Francis has expressed sadness at the news of the fire that destroyed Grenfell Tower and has offered 'his heartfelt condolences to their families'. He prayed for the 'Lord's loving mercy' on the souls of those who died. Commending emergency service personnel and all who have rallied to support the victims and their families, he invoked 'upon the local community God's blessings of strength and peace'.
The full message was relayed in a letter from Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, to Cardinal Vincent Nichols:
'His Holiness Pope Francis was saddened to learn of the devastating fire in London and of the tragic loss of life and injury. He entrusts the souls of those who have died to the Lord's loving mercy and offers his heartfelt condolences to their families. With appreciation of the brave efforts of the emergency service personnel and all committed to supporting those who have lost their homes, His Holiness invokes upon the local community God's blessings of strength and peace.'