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Our Brother Copts Are Slain Because They Are Christian, Pope Francis Says in Daily Homily

© Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk

Diane Montagna - published on 02/17/15

Our children are slain in abortion because they are unwanted.

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis offered Holy Mass on Tuesday morning for the repose of the souls of the 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians martyred by beheading for their faith in Christ. In his homily, the Pope decried the evil of slaying Christians through terrorism and, closer to home, the evil of slaying children through abortion.

This morning’s liturgy 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, Pope Francis invited those present 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, and for my brother Tawadros [the Coptic Orthodox Patriarch], who is suffering greatly”, Vatican Radio reported today.

Invoking the psalms, 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”. (cf. Ps 31 (30): 3-4).

Pope made a personal telephone call to Patriarch Tawadros, the Coptic Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria, on Monday evening, to express his sorrow and condolences over the brutal beheading on the coast of Libya. 

Reflecting in today’s homily on the Genesis account of God’s wrath at man’s wickedness — the prelude to the Flood —the Pope spoke of man’s capacity for evil and destruction and he condemned what he called the “merchants of death”, i.e. business people who sell arms to those at war, furthering a cycle of hatred, fratricide and violence.    

The Pope noted with regret that man “seems to be more powerful than God”, since he is capable of destroying the good things that God has made.

Man is capable of destroying fraternity

Pope Francis then pointed out the examples we find in the Book of Genesis — Sodom and Gomorrah, the Tower of Babel — in which man reveals his wickedness, “an evil that lurks in the depths of the heart.”

Some people would urge me not to be so negative, the Pope said. But he responded: “This is the truth. We are also capable of destroying fraternity: Cain and Abel in the first pages of the Bible destroy fraternity. This is where wars begin. Jealousy, envy, so much greed for power, to have more power.” 

“Yes, this sounds negative,” he said boldly. “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: “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”, he said.

Merchants of death sell arms to those who are at war

Pope Francis then observed that man always “desires autonomy”: “I do what I want and if I want to do something, I will! So, if I want to make war, I will!”

“Why are we like this? Because we are capable of destruction, that’s the problem. There are wars, there is arms trafficking … ‘But, we are businessmen!’ Yes, but of what? Of death? And there are countries that sell weapons, are at war with one side but also selling weapons to them, so that the war continues.” 

“The capacity for destruction. It’s not coming from our neighbors: it’s coming from us!” he said. “‘Every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually’. Everyone has this seed within, this possibility, but we also have the Holy Spirit who saves us! We must choose, in the little things”.

Pope Francis then warned against using gossip or slander against our neighbor: “Even in parishes and associations”, “jealousy” and “envy” can push people to go to their pastor to speak ill of others. He warned: “This is evil and we all have this ability to destroy”. 

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Tags:
AbortionIslamic MilitantsPope Francis
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