Monday, April 10, 2017

Palm Sunday Bombs

Although we are often reminded of such things from the pulpit, the history of Christianity has been filled with martyrs. We now have more in Egypt, following two bombings of Coptic churches yesterday:
Egypt's president called for a three-month state of emergency Sunday after at least 44 people were killed and more than 100 more were injured in two Palm Sunday suicide attacks at Coptic Christian churches, each carried out by the ISIS terror group.

Sunday's first blast happened at St. George Church in the Nile Delta town of Tanta, where at least 27 people were killed and 78 others wounded, officials said.

Television footage showed the inside of the church, where a large number of people gathered around what appeared to be lifeless, bloody bodies covered with papers.

A second explosion – which Egypt’s Interior Ministry says was caused by a suicide bomber who tried to storm St. Mark's Cathedral in the coastal city of Alexandria -- left at least 17 dead, and 48 injured. The attack came just after Pope Tawadros II -- leader of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria -- finished services, but aides told local media that he was unharmed.
We prayed for our brethren yesterday during our own Palm Sunday Mass. I'm glad we did, but I wonder how much it really meant. We don't have much to worry about in our sanctuaries -- the bombers don't come to our suburban churches and while we name many of our churches in honor of those who paid the ultimate price for the faith, we don't spend much time thinking about the meaning of those sacrifices, even during Holy Week. Perhaps we should.

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