Archbishop Pizzaballa: “the martyrdom of the Copts in Egypt will strengthen the Christian testimony in the Coptic Church”
JERUSALEM – On Tuesday, December 13, 2016, a delegation of Latin Patriarchate Bishops and Priests offered condolences to the Coptic Church after 25 people were killed in the Orthodox Church of St. Peter and St. Paul in Cairo on Sunday.
The delegation included Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate, Bishops William Shomali and Kamal Bathish, Fr. Michael McDonagh, Fr, Bernt Besch and Fr. George Ayyoub, Chancellor of the Latin Patriarchate.
Addressing His Eminence Metropolitan Anba Antonious, Bishop and Metropolitan of Jerusalem and the Near East, Archbishop Pizzaballa said: “On behalf of the Latin Patriarchate and the Catholic Churches in Jerusalem, we want to express our deepest condolences for the martyrdom of our brothers and sisters in Cairo. This will only strengthen the Christian testimony in the Coptic Church and Egypt.” He added “we would like to thank you for the testimony you gave and are still giving for the sake of the Christian faith. You are the Church of Martyrs. We stand in solidarity with you and we continue to be hopeful.”
Last Tuesday, the Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the attack on the Coptic Church that killed the at least 25 people.
Note: At the decision of the Assembly of the Catholic Ordinaries in the Holy Land, a prayer service will be held on Friday, December 16 at 6:00 PM at the Latin (Roman Catholic) Church in Haifa, in solidarity with victims of terrorism and for the souls of the martyrs who were killed last Sunday at the Coptic Church in Egypt.