At the conclusion of Palm Sunday Mass today at the Cathedral of Saint Matthew the Apostle in Washington, D.C., I released the following statement in response to the attack against Coptic Christians in Egypt:
It’s the belief of the Church, it’s the faith of the Church, that because of the Communion we have received and the Spirit we share in Baptism, the Body of Christ – the Church – is the Body of Christ present in our world today.
That body continues to be crucified in parts of our world. Today we heard once again of another church bombing, of Christians, this time Coptic Christians in Egypt, killed simply because they believe in the Lord Jesus. Our Holy Father has pointed out – and it’s something that the statisticians have pointed out in recent years – that there are more Christians dying for the faith today than ever happened under the Roman authorities at the time of the pagan empire.
My brothers and sisters, there is very little you and I can do about the atrocities that have happened, because there are people who are willing to do them and then there are the rest of us, who perhaps remain too silent.
But, even in the face of the frustration of not being able to do much, there is one powerful thing we can do, and that is pray – pray and unite our hearts with our brothers and sisters who simply are being persecuted and dying for something you and I just did so freely today, profess our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. So I would ask you today, and during this Holy Week when you are lifting up your hearts in prayer, to remember them. They have no voice. They have no one to speak for them. They have no one to stand up for them. But we can at least remember them as part of the Body of Christ being crucified in our day today. We pray for them.