Pope Francis expressed “profound sadness” at Isis beheading of Coptic Christian hostages

February 17, 2015 8:45 am

has expressed “profound sadness” over the beheading of
21 Egyptian Coptic Christians by Islamic militants in , saying they
had been killed for their faith.
“They were executed for nothing
more than the fact that they were Christians,” Francis said in
impromptu remarks in his native Spanish following a meeting with John
Chalmers, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

A still from the video, which appears to show militants beheading 21 hostages. Photo / Screengrab
 
“The blood of our Christian sisters and brothers is testimony that cries out (to us),” the pontiff added.
“Be
they Catholics, Orthodox, Copts, Lutherans, it does not matter. They
are Christians, their blood is the same, their blood confesses (their
faith in) Christ.”
The later called the patriarch of the
Coptic Orthodox Church, Pope Tawadros II, to offer a personal message of
condolence, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said.

“He assured him of his prayers and tomorrow, during the
funerals of the victims, he will be united in spirit with the prayer and
the pain of the Coptic Church,” Lombardi said.
Egypt late
yesterday launched air strikes against Islamic State targets in Libya
after the jihadists posted a video showing the decapitations.
The
killings have been condemned around the world. They have been described
as “despicable” by the United States and “barbaric” by Al-Azhar, the
Cairo-based institution which is regarded as Sunni ’s leading
theological authority.

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