“As we enter the Third Week of Advent, we are reminded that even the shadow of violence and terrorism cannot obscure the light of our coming Savior,” Cardinal DiNardo said.
“St. Mark himself was no stranger to the persecution of Christians. Those who gathered to worship the Lord at his cathedral this morning in Cairo are family to us,” he added, in reference to the history of the Coptic Church, which traces back to the Evangelist St. Mark.
Cardinal DiNardo continued: “We draw near to our Coptic brothers and sisters in prayer, sorrow and comfort. And we are confident in the healing power of our Lord Jesus Christ. The lives lost strengthen the faith of Christians everywhere and offer a testament to the great privilege of worshiping God in peace. This weekend has witnessed the darkness of violence reach into many places, including Turkey, Somalia and the church building collapse in Nigeria. But the light still shines! Today let us offer a special prayer for all those facing persecution.”
Pope Francis on Monday called Tawadros II, Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of Saint Mark, telling him, “We are united in the blood of our martyrs.”
The day before, shortly after the attack, the Holy Father mentioned the violence after praying the midday Angelus.
He invited prayer for victims of the three “brutal terrorist attacks” that had occurred just within the several hours before his address.
“There are various places but unfortunately the violence that sows death and destruction is one and the same. And one and the same, too, is the response: faith in God and unity in human and social values,” the Pope said.
— Egypt: A bomb outside St. Mark’s Coptic Cathedral in Cairo killed 24 people on Sunday morning;
— Somalia: A suicide bomber killed at least 29 people in Mogadishu on Sunday morning;
— Turkey: A detonated vehicle and a suicide bomber killed at least 39 people outside a soccer stadium in Instanbul on Saturday evening. More than 150 others were injured.
The collapse of the roof during a service Saturday at the Reigners Bible Church International in southern Nigeria resulted in the death of as many as 160 people.