ROME - Pope Francis has strongly condemned the attack on a synagogue in Pittsburgh after celebrating the closing mass of the Synod of Bishops on Youth in Saint Peter's Basilica.
After reciting the Angelus prayer in Saint Peter's Square on Sunday, Pope Francis led prayers for Pittsburgh, the day after what he describedas the "terrible" massacre inside a synagogue during Sabbath services in which 11 people were killed and six others injured.
The pope expressed what he called his closeness to the city of Pittsburgh, and in particular to the Jewish community stricken yesterday by a terrible attack on the synagogue.
He said everyone is in reality wounded by this inhumane act of violence and asked God to help put out the hotbeds of hate that flare up in society and to help strengthen a sense of humanity, respect for life, moral and civil values."
Earlier, several thousand people, including hundreds of priests, nuns, and young people took part in the final ceremony of a month-long synod titled "Young People, Faith and Discernment of Vocation".
In his homily, Pope Francis asked young people to forgive adults if they have not listened to youth or opened their hearts.
The pope also said young people could not wash their hands of the problems of their neighbors, but should "dirty" them if they really want to imitate Jesus.
Pope Francis attended every session of the synod, which were held on a daily basis during October.
A 60-page final document was issued at the end of the synod late Saturday and will be used by Pope Francis in writing his Apostolic Exhortation.
Women played an active role in this synod and although they did not vote the final text called on women to have greater recognition and say in the Church's decision-making processes. But the document stopped short of making a common apology for decades of clerical sexual abuse and cover-ups.