Cardinal Vincent Nichols, president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales, has issued a statement on behalf of the Bishops deploring the explosions in two Coptic churches in Egypt on Palm Sunday and offering prayers and support for the Coptic community and all who have been affected by this violence.
The statement notes that these bombings took place during Palm Sunday Masses “where traditionally palm branches are blessed and carried as symbols of peace”. Nothing can justify these acts of terrorism. The full statement reads:
“It is with deep sorrow and sadness that we learned of the bombing of St. George’s Coptic church (Mar Gigis) in the city of Tanta in the Nile Delta, and the explosion outside St. mark’s Coptic church in Alexandria. Both blasts took place during a Palm Sunday service, where traditionally palm branches are blessed and carried as a symbol of peace. Nothing can justify these atrocious acts of terrorism.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families, His Holiness Pope Tawadros II and the Coptic community across the world and the people of Egypt.
We have sent an assurance of our prayers and a message of support to Bishop Angaelos the General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom”.