Pope Francis has invited parish priests, religious leaders and lay people to a gathering at the Vatican in order to address the recent killings of three priests and three other people.
Francis, who is in a region of southern Italy, said on Monday he wanted to “discuss the root causes of the crimes and to offer a pastoral and political perspective to the nation.”
The pope is also expected to address Sunday’s mass in which more than 2,000 people have gathered.
Francissimo’s meeting with priests, lay people and politicians will be held in a special chapel at the Holy See, according to a Vatican source.
The Vatican has not said when the gathering will take place, but sources told The Associated Press it will be in the coming days.
The killings have drawn outrage around the world, with many calling for an end to the impunity enjoyed by killers, who have been able to avoid prosecution because of the Church’s protection.
The pope, who has vowed to be tougher on crime, said the Church must also confront the root cause of the killings, which he said were committed against “people of faith.”