From Vatican Radio:
Pope Francis offered Mass Tuesday morning for the repose of the souls of the twenty-one Coptic Christians martyred for their faith in Christ. The Mass was attended by the Pope’s personal secretary, Abuna Yoannis Lahzi Gaid, who is Coptic Catholic.
As he prepared to begin Mass in the Santa Marta Chapel, the Pope invited the congregation to join him in prayer for ‘our brother Copts, whose throats were slit for the sole reason of being Christian, that the Lord welcome them as martyrs, for their families, for my brother Tawadros, who is suffering greatly’.
He then prayed: “Be my protector, O God, a mighty stronghold to save me. For you are my rock, my stronghold! Lead me; guide me, for the sake of your name”.
Monday evening the Pope had made a personal phone call to Patriarch Tawadros, who is the Coptic Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria, to express his sorrow at the brutal murder.
During his homily the Pope spoke of man’s capability for evil and destruction and condemned what he termed ‘merchants of death’, business people who sell arms to those at war, furthering a cycle of hate, fratricide and violence.
Pope Francis was reflecting on the passage from Genesis that speaks of God’s wrath at man’s wickedness that is a prelude to the great flood. The Pope noted with regret that man, “seems to be more powerful than God”, because he is capable of destroying the good things that God has made.
Pope Francis pointed out that in the first chapters of the Bible we find many examples – Sodom and Gomorrah, the Tower of Babel – in which man reveals his wickedness. “An evil that lurks in the depths of the heart”.
The Pope noted some people would urge him not to be so negative, but – he continued – “this is the truth. We are also capable of destroying fraternity: Cain and Abel in the first pages of the Bible. They destroy fraternity. This is where wars begin. Jealousy, envy, so much greed for power, to have more power. Yes, this sounds negative, but it is realistic. You only have to pick up a newspaper, any newspaper – left-wing, center, right-ring … whatever. And you will see that more than 90% of the news is news of destruction. More than 90%. We see this every day”.
Pope Francis then asked the question: “What is happening in man’s heart?”. He said Jesus reminds us that “from within, out of the heart of man, comes evil.” Our “weak heart is wounded”.
Read more. And watch the video report below from Rome Reports.