USCCB President Offers Prayers for Victims in Latest Attack on Coptic Christians
"They were children on their way to Mass. They were mothers and fathers taking their children to Mass."
WASHINGTON—Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has issued the following statement in the wake of the latest attack on Christians in the Middle East. In what officials are calling a terrorist attack, masked gunmen opened fire on a bus that killed 28 people including men, women and children. State TV is reporting the Coptic Christians were attacked while on their way to Mass at the St. Samuel Monastery in Minya province, located about 140 miles south of Cairo. Many children are reported among the dead. The attack also wounded up to 22 others.
Full statement follows:
"They were children on their way to Mass. They were mothers and fathers taking their children to Mass. And this morning they became targets of yet another horrendous attack on Christians, murdered as they rode to Church together. Dozens of others were injured in the attack today in Egypt on Coptic Christians. Only a few short weeks ago, on Palm Sunday, many Christians were slaughtered simply because they were worshipping God. Now, as we approach Pentecost, the same unspeakable evil emerges again and repeats itself. Pope Francis, during his recent visit to the noble land of Egypt said, ‘ ... the innocent blood of defenseless Christians was cruelly shed: their innocent blood unites us.’ Though our grief is unbearable, our unity grows all the more strong. That unity is the way to peace.
On behalf of the Bishops of the United States, on behalf of Catholics and all people of good will across our nation, I commend the souls of those who have died to the loving arms of the Lord Jesus and entrust those who are injured and those who mourn to the embrace of Our Blessed Mother, Our Lady of Mercy."
Image Source: Katie on Flickr (from a Coptic church in Cairo)