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Pope Francis calls for ending indiscriminate arms trafficking, prays for Uvalde victims

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Pope Francis calls for ending indiscriminate arms trafficking, prays for Uvalde victims
Pope Francis called for an end to indiscriminate arms trafficking Wednesday as he prayed for Uvalde, Texas school victims and their families. File Photo by Vatican Media/EPA-EFE

May 25 (UPI) -- Pope Francis called Wednesday for an end to indiscriminate arms trafficking and said his heart was broken by the Uvalde, Texas school shooting that killed 19 students and two teachers.

During his general audience, Francis said, "I am praying for the children and adults who were killed and for their families. It is time to say 'enough' to the indiscriminate trafficking of arms. Let us all commit ourselves so that such tragedies can never happen again."

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The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement.

"There have been too many school shootings, too much killing of the innocent. Our Catholic faith calls us to pray for those who have died and to bind the wounds of others, and we join our prayers along with the community in Uvalde and Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller," the statement read. "As we do so, each of us also needs to search our souls for ways that we can do more to understand this epidemic of evil and violence and implore our elected officials to help us take action."

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The mass shooting Tuesday at Robb Elementary School was carried out by an 18-year-old gunman, who was killed by police responding to the scene.

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Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller of San Antonio, Texas, near Uvalde, tweeted, "God have mercy on our children, their families, their communities. Darkness is dense with one more shooting in our country. Let us help one another to spark light and warmth. May we keep each other in company. Prayers are needed."

The shooting was the most deadly to take place at an American school since 20 children were shot to death at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in December 2012.

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Seventeen students and staff were killed in 2018 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

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