Pope Francis phoned Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria today, expressing his prayers and condolences for yesterday’s terrorist attack at the Cairo cathedral that left 25 people dead.
“We are united in the blood of our martyrs,” the pope told the Orthodox patriarch, according to a Vatican statement.
The patriarch thanked Pope Francis for his closeness at such a sad time and asked his continued prayers for the Copts and for peace in Egypt, the statement said.
On a December weekend bloodied by terrorist attacks in Egypt and Turkey, Pope Francis condemned the violence and urged people to hold fast to their faith and renew their commitment to upholding basic human values.
After reciting the Angelus on 11th December, Pope Francis offered prayers for the “victims of savage terrorist attacks” in Egypt, which also wounded dozens, and 10th December in Istanbul, which killed close to 40 people, mainly police.
“The places are different, but the violence is the same,” Pope Francis said. In response to the “death and destruction,” there is only one response: “faith in God and unity in human and civil values.”
Picture: An Egyptian Coptic nun weeps as she looks at damages inside the St Mark Cathedral in central Cairo, following a bombing on Sunday 11th December 2016. The blast at Egypt’s main Coptic Christian cathedral killed dozens of people and wounded many others on Sunday, according to Egyptian state television, making it one of the deadliest attacks carried out against the religious minority in recent memory. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty).