Tuesday the 13th of April

...to the ends of the earth

“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Tight security is ‘new normal’ as pope heads to Egypt

Despite the ongoing risk of terrorism, Pope Francis planned to travel to Egypt as a sign of being close to the people there, said Greg Burke, Vatican spokesman.

Heightened security is part of the “new normal” in many countries, but even in the wake of the Palm Sunday attacks in Egypt, it is the pope’s desire “to go ahead, to also be a sign of his closeness” to those affected by violence and all the people of Egypt, Burke told journalists on 24th April.

At a Vatican briefing outlining some details of the pope’s trip to Cairo from 28th to 29th April, a reporter asked if there were any worries or concerns about the pope’s security.

Burke, speaking in Italian, said he wouldn’t use the word “worries” or concerns, but would say that “we live in a world where it is now something that is part of life.” He added, “However, we move ahead with serenity.”

The pope has requested that a “normal car” – not an armoured vehicle – be used when he is driven from one venue to another, Burke said. It will not be an open-topped vehicle, he added.

Picture: A boy holds a candle during a candlelight vigil for the victims of a bomb explosion at the Orthodox Church of St George in Tanta, Egypt. Despite the ongoing risk of terrorism, Pope Francis planned to travel to Egypt from 28th to 29th April as a sign of being close to the people there, said Greg Burke, Vatican spokesman. (CNS photo/EPA).