Pope Francis Concelebrates Mass with Coptic Patriarch of Egypt

Encourages Egyptian Faithful to Be Strong in the Face of Persecution

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

Peace in the Middle East is often paralyzed by opposed and obscured interests, Pope Francis said this Monday morning during Mass at Casa Santa Marta.

The Holy Father was concelebrating the Mass with Patriarch Ibrahim Isaac Sidrak of Alexandria of the Catholic Copts.

According to the Holy See, the Mass with the Patriarch was a “public demonstration of the ecclesiastical communion sought by the Patriarch and conceded by Pope [Emeritus] Benedict XVI.”

Commenting on the prophet Isaiah, the Pope encouraged those with “fearful hearts” in the land of Egypt, especially those who suffer violence for their faith.

“Be strong; do not fear!”, the Pope exclaimed. “These are the words of consolation that find confirmation in fraternal solidarity. I am grateful to God for this encounter, which gives me a way of reinforcing your – and our – hope, which is one and the same.”

In the Gospel, which recalled Jesus’ healing of a man suffering from paralysis, the Holy Father compared to humanity’s paralyses of the conscience, of complicity in the moments of poverty. In this paralysis, Christ’s command is the same: “Rise, be on your way.”

“Let us pray for the rapid reinstatement of peace agreements, often paralysed by opposed and obscure interests,” he said. “Let there finally be real guarantees of religious freedom for all, along with the right of Christians to live serenely where they are born, in the homeland they have loved as citizens for two thousand years, to contribute as always to the good of all.”

“May the Lord Jesus, who experienced flight with the Holy Family and was received in your generous land, watch over Egyptians on their travels throughout the world in search of dignity and security.”

Concluding his homily, the 76 year old Pontiff prayed that in each person’s search for the Lord, new roads for are found for brotherhood and peace.

Patriarch Sidrak also spoke saying that the Church in Egypt “needs to be supported by the paternal embrace” of Pope Francis.

“In the time that we prepare to celebrate the incarnation of the Word, we cannot but recall the historical bond between my land and this mystery, from the moment in which the first place to welcome the Holy Family in flight from Herod’s persecutions was none other than Egypt.”

«This corner of land between the desert and the Nile has known, and still knows, the painful drama experienced by many people who wish to be listened to and received,» the Patriarch added. «Our Church is there, ready to welcome whoever knocks on the door, and to offer hospitality to whoever seeks help, to care for the needy and the abandoned, and to give witness to the Gospel.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry


Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation