Vatican City, Dec 12, 2016 / 05:20 am
The day after an explosion at the Coptic Orthodox cathedral in Cairo killed 25 people, mostly women and children, Pope Francis called the head of the Church to offer prayer, and to say they are united by the blood of their martyrs.
According to a Dec. 12 communique from the Vatican, Francis called His Holiness Pope Tawadros II earlier that morning to express his condolences and to assure of his closeness to the Patriarch and the entire Coptic community, "so hardly hit."
On his part, Patriarch Tawadros II reminded Francis of the phrase "ecumenism of blood" he often uses to describe the global persecution of Christians, and which he also used during his 2013 meeting with the patriarch at the Vatican.
Pope Francis told the patriarch that "we are united in the blood of our martyrs," and promised to pray for the community during his evening Mass for the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.