Pope Promises Prayers for Denver Victims

Also Remembers Those Killed in Ferry Accident Near Zanzibar

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CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, JULY 23, 2012 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI promised prayers for the victims of a shooting that took place in the early hours of Friday morning at a movie theater in Denver.

Sunday after praying the midday Angelus with crowds gathered at the papal summer residence, the Pope said he was "deeply shocked by the senseless violence which took place in Aurora, Denver."

A heavily armed man in full body armor opened fire on movie-goers at the midnight release of "The Dark Knight Rises." A dozen people were killed and several dozen more were wounded.

The suspect appeared in court for the first time today.

Strength in the risen Lord

The Pope also expressed his sadness at the loss of life in a ferry disaster near Zanzibar.

The MV Skagit hit choppy waters last Wednesday as it crossed from Tanzania to Zanzibar and sank. At least 145 of the 290 passengers were rescued, but by today nearly 80 bodies had been recovered, with more than 65 still missing.

Police have said there is no hope the missing will be found alive, meaning the death toll might be as high as half the number of passengers aboard. 

"I share the distress of the families and friends of the victims and the injured, especially the children," the Pontiff said. "Assuring all of you of my closeness in prayer, I impart my blessing as a pledge of consolation and strength in the risen Lord."