The president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops condemned the Nov. 24 bombing of a mosque in Egypt’s North Sinai region, calling it a “monstrous terrorist attack on innocent people at prayer.”
Masked assailants attacked a bus carrying Coptic Orthodox Christians on the way to St. Samuel Monastery in southern Egypt, killing at least 26 people, many of them children, according to the country’s Interior Ministry.
After spending the first day of his visit in meetings with Muslim leaders, government officials, diplomats and members of the Coptic Orthodox Church, the pope dedicated the second day of his trip to Egypt’s minority Catholic community.
Placing flowers, lighting a candle and praying at the site where dozens of Coptic Orthodox Christians were killed by an Islamic State militant last year, Pope Francis and Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II paid homage to those who were killed for their faith.
Calling his visit to Egypt a journey of “unity and fraternity,” Pope Francis launched a powerful call to the nation’s religious leaders to expose violence masquerading as holy and condemn religiously inspired hatred as an idolatrous caricature of God.