The Holy Father Prays for the Victims of the Massacre in Egypt.

The Christian world has been shocked by events in Egypt. The Holy Father yesterday referred to this after praying the Angelus. The text, from Vatican Information Services is reprinted in full below:



VATICAN CITY, 2 JAN 2011 (VIS) – At midday today the Pope appeared at the
window of his study in the Apostolic Palace to pray the Angelus with
thousands of faithful and pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

The Pope again expressed his felicitations for the new year, and thanked
everyone who had sent him “messages of spiritual support”.

Commenting on today’s reading, a reiteration of the prologue of the St.
John’s Gospel as proclaimed on Christmas Day, the Pope highlighted how “this
wondrous text expresses, in the form of a hymn, the mystery of the
Incarnation as preached by the eye witnesses, the Apostles and in particular
St. John whose feast falls on 27 December”.

Benedict XVI then addressed some remarks to thousands of people gathered
in Plaza de Colon in Madrid, Spain, who were following him on live
television linkup. They are celebrating, for the fourth consecutive year,
the feast of the family which has as its theme this year: “The Christian
family. Hope for Europe”.

“I invite you”, said Benedict XVI, “to be strong in love and humbly to
contemplate the mystery of Christmas, which continues to speak to our hearts
and becomes a school of family and fraternal life. The maternal gaze of the
Virgin Mary, the loving protection of St. Joseph and the sweet presence of
the Baby Jesus provide a clear image of how each Christian family should be:
a true shrine of fidelity, respect and understanding in which faith is
transmitted, hope fortified and charity enflamed. I encourage everyone to
live their Christian vocation with renewed enthusiasm in the home, as
genuine servants of the love which welcomes, accompanies and defends life.
Make your houses true seedbeds of virtue, and serene and luminous areas of
trust in which, guided by the grace of God, it is possible to discern the
call of the Lord Who continues to invite us to follow Him. With these
feelings I fervently entrust the goals and fruits of your meeting to the
Holy Family, that joy, mutual commitment and generosity may reign in a
growing number of families”.

After the Angelus prayer the Holy Father referred to “news of the serious
attack against the Coptic Christian community in Alexandria, Egypt. This
vile and murderous gesture, like that of placing bombs near the houses of
Christians in Iraq to force them to leave, offends God and all humankind,
which only yesterday prayed for peace and began a new year with hope. In the
face of these strategies of violence, which aim against Christians but have
consequences on the entire population, I pray for the victims and their
relatives, and encourage ecclesial communities to persevere in the faith and
in the witness of non-violence which comes to us from the Gospel. I think
also of the many pastoral workers killed in various parts of the world in
the course of 2010. For them too we equally express our affectionate
remembrance before the Lord. Let us remain united in Christ, our hope and
our peace!”

About Gertrude

Sáncte Míchael Archángele, defénde nos in proélio, cóntra nequítiam et insídias diáboli ésto præsídium.
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25 Responses to The Holy Father Prays for the Victims of the Massacre in Egypt.

  1. toadspittle says:

    Thank goodness, we gentle folk at CP&S check our six-guns at the door.

    Some people seem to take religion a shade too fundamentally for Toad’s taste.

    “The Christian family. Hope for Europe”.

    Not, “Hope for the world?” Bit insular, thinks Toad. Bit of a snub for the other continents?

    But Hope, like Charity, probably begins at home.

    No word from the Pope about turning the other cheek, or praying for the murderers. Probably wouldn’t do a bit of good, anyway.


  2. toadspittle says:

    Belay that!

    On a less careless reading of the Pope’s message above, Toad sees that the Pope calls for a non-violent reaction. Turning the other cheek, in fact.
    Toad resolves to read things more carefully in The New Year. Starting from tomorrow.


  3. hopeful62 says:

    Toad wrote,
    “The Christian family. Hope for Europe”.

    Not, “Hope for the world?” Bit insular, thinks Toad. Bit of a snub for the other continents?

    Nary a mention of condolences for those who lost loved ones. No condemnation of the murderers. Prayers for the deceased, nope! Not even righteous anger against the timing of the attack; when we remember the Birth of Christ.

    However, we do get a comment about the insularity of the Pope’s remarks. There was also a rushed attempt to misread the response that the Holy Father called for.

    Toad, you really need to go away and pray rather than spending hours hunched over the keyboard. I don’t know you other than your posts. But in all Charity, try to break your habit of misreading anything Catholic, or, as I suspect, break the urge to post online to get some response.

    P.S. The Angelus address was not primarily about events in the rest of the world, but had as its main theme the re-evangelisation of Europe. Hence the title. However, that, as always, given your urge to quickly post something rather than think, was lost on you.


  4. Brother Burrito says:

    Bombs and bullets do not kill people, ideas do.

    This is such a distressing picture. They all look so young. What was going on in the mind of the bomber who did this? How can any good come from slaughtering harmless innocent Christians going about their worship?

    The Pope is right to highlight the failure of reason, and the rise of emotive and vengeful action in the West. This sort of thing will eventually happen in our own neighbourhoods, if his words are not heeded.

    Laws only work when people are law abiding. To be law abiding requires more than blind obedience, it requires the law to be written on your heart.

    Christ hear us!


  5. Frere Rabit says:

    The misnamed “Hopeful62”:

    You address Toad – one of the earliest contributors to CP&S – as follows: “Toad, you really need to go away and pray rather than spending hours hunched over the keyboard. I don’t know you other than your posts. But in all Charity, try to break your habit of misreading anything Catholic, or, as I suspect, break the urge to post online to get some response.”

    When a few of us set up this blog, less than a year ago, we had a vision of a Catholic discussion less juvenile than the trite playground that Damian Thompson’s blog had become. While staying with Toad after completing a short spell on the Camino in winter, I was reminded (by his interest in this blog) to post an end-of-year greeting. Now that I see your dreary and provocative comment, I am reminded why I ceased to participate in this forum: it is an easy game to wind people up. It is a much more difficult challenge to be charitable online.

    It is a coward who sets off a bomb in a Coptic church. It is a nonentity who fires off a squib at a person whose subtle wisdom is “lost on you” to quote you ironically.


  6. toadspittle says:


    Takes Toad to task for sins of omission. All right. I absolutely condole with the bereft, utterly condemn the killers, will pray for the deceased, and deplore the timing of the attack, confident in the expectation that Hopeful62 had already done so, before rushing headlong into posting online.
    (Toad would have thought that all that didn’t need saying, but there you are.)

    Burro’s comment that, “Bombs and bullets do not kill people, ideas do.” is reminiscent of the NRA bumper stickers you see in the States: “Guns don’t kill, people kill!”

    Somehow, this validates having a machine gun on the front seat of your car , and a .45 in your shoulder holster.

    But, Toad fully agrees with Burro and the Pope that it can happen ‘here’. Anywhere, in fact. And already is. This will be another year of ‘aggressive’ everything.


  7. manus2 says:

    Now Rabbit,

    We have missed you deeply these last few weeks, and I trust your sharpish defence of this blog and of our beloved Toad indicates the jealous love you still hold for what has been achieved here. I don’t know how you (collectively) have managed to get the balance right, but on the whole it has been very good, with only the occasional wobble from nearly all but the truly saintly. But where would we Catholics be without our wobbles? The Church of sinners we, not the elect. That’s norty in rabbit-speak.

    So, we look forward to hearing from you regularly from now on.


  8. Brother Burrito says:

    In reply to Frere Rabit

    I concur with your sentiments about Toadster. My respect for cynics was greatly helped by the portrayal of the Ulsterman MacPhee in the novel ‘That Hideous Strength” by CS Lewis (sorry, Toad). If you have not read this fantasy, I thoroughly recommend that you do. (Of interest to me is the fact that CSL was an Ulsterman himself).

    The remnant therein depicted numbered this sour minded, but good hearted fellow amongst them, for reasons of Christian consistency, and practical need: He kept them grounded! Vinegar is a useful ingredient.

    On another note, dear Rabit, I love your writing, and I miss your presence on the team, but I understand your reasons for leaving. May I venture to offer that you consider writing here again, as an occasional contributor? No reply is expected or required.


  9. Brother Burrito says:

    To Manus2,

    Goodness, was the Holy Spirit of synchronicity at work on us both?


  10. manus2 says:


    Well perhaps, but I note with caution that “Spirits in the Material World” is from the “Ghost in the Machine” album, not “Synchronicity”.


  11. Gertrude says:

    I just have to say a few words in defence of our much loved amphibian – not that he needs my defence, but we are blessed here, on the whole, and able to conduct our work with the utmost charity to all. We have never expected everyone to agree with us on every topic, and debate is encouraged, – it is how we learn.
    However, insofar as I have any jurisdiction over my particular posts, I do not tolerate snide attacks on anyone who contributes to these posts and I hope my friends would concur. Toad is a much loved and faithful supporter of CP&S and provides witty and erudite comments on may subjects – long may he continue.

    In those immortal words (I hope) – nuff said.


  12. toadspittle says:

    Toad.. would blush with pleasure, if toads could blush. But then, he would look even odder than usual.

    However, in Hopeful62’s defence, Toad agrees that he often, as yesterday, is moved to post too precipitously at times.
    Sheer over-exuberance.
    He didn’t see it as snide at all. Anyway, a bit of give and take adds piquancy to the pudding (to mix the metaphor somewhat) No hard feelings. Hopeful62 ought to post more often him(or her)self, Toad thinks.

    Toad is now pondering, at great length, Shane’s new post. Very deep, is his first impression. Difficult to figure out who’s claiming what, as well.


  13. manus2 says:

    Toad needs no defending. As GC recently pointed out – with photographic evidence – it takes a super-truck to squash a Toad. Purely in the interests of science I am prepared to do experiments with other means of transport. Suggestions are welcome. Even where total squashing is not achieved, it may be possible to get him to exude a little “gibon smel” (note, Rabit speling).

    In any case Toad has shown admirable courtesy to Hopeful 62, whom I too trust will contribute more to the blog.


  14. hopeful62 says:

    Toad wrote, “All right. I absolutely condole with the bereft, utterly condemn the killers, will pray for the deceased, and deplore the timing of the attack, … (Toad would have thought that all that didn’t need saying, but there you are.)”

    But that’s the point Toad, it does need saying, and repeating, again and again.

    For your post to nit-pick, incorrectly, the Holy Father’s words, rather than deal with the substance (the murder of Christians because they are Christians) reflects all to disturbingly the mind-set of the secularists and their allies in the mainstream media. A great ‘hoo-ha’ about the ‘threatened’ burning of the Koran; near silence about the attacks in Iraq.

    Of course, there’s always the possibility that, as ‘Brother Frere’ pointed out, there was an erudite point you were making that I missed. I’d be more that happy to hear what it was.


  15. omvendt says:

    Not wishing to pile on, hopeful , but Toad’s all right. (Never thought I’d find myself uttering those words! ;-). )

    He has his own (often brilliantly funny) way of exploring ideas, philosophies, theological matters, and so on. And the questions he asks are (usually) legitimate ones.

    Once you ‘get’ Toad and what he’s really about it’s impossible not to like him.

    I also look forward to your posting more frequently, hopeful.

    I think you could be a real ‘player’ on here. 🙂


  16. toadspittle says:


    Relax. Toad doesn’t make ‘erudite’ points. He can’t. He’s a toad.

    But there is always dispute about the value of a news story. It may well be that the ‘secularists and their allies in the mainstream media’ made more of the threatened burning of the Koran than it did of the attacks in Iraq. That would be because the ‘Koran’ story involved The USA and Britain in a way that the Iraq story did not. And readers are very partial to ‘home’ news.
    You and I may deplore this, but it is not evidence of a conspiracy to undermine the Catholic Church.

    There is also the possibility the the Copts were not murdered because they were Christians, but because they were not Muslims. Had they been Jews or Hindus, or even atheists, their fate may well have been the same. Who knows?

    And, to stop Hopeful62 getting even crosser, I absolutely condole with the bereft, utterly condemn the killers, will pray for the deceased, and deplore the timing of the attack.

    Toad could also suggest that your posts reflect, all-too disturbingly, the mind-set of Hopeful62.
    But that wouldn’t be charitable, so he won’t. Still, your comments are very welcome and stimulating.


  17. hopeful62 says:

    “Once you ‘get’ Toad and what he’s really about it’s impossible not to like him.”

    Via the internet, of which I was originally (mid ’90’s’) a great fan, that’s impossible. I can only respond to his posts. I can never really ‘know’ him. It’s the reason why at work I NEVER deal with any issues by e-mails, even the most trivial. It is too easy to misunderstand or to respond in haste. The internet is not a useful medium for any real debate.

    Frere Rabbit, silly name, but there you go, made a good point about posting on fora. What is the point? Something I’ve been pondering this last 24 hours or so when I broke my promise to mortify myself by avoiding Catholic sites full stop (Yes! I also used to spend hours in thinking, posting, awaiting a response on Damian’s site. Gosh! I’m old enough to recall hours spent on newsgroups, anyone remember them? The only useful thing from these was a brief conversation with Janet E Smith, of theological fame – she put me in my place).

    Which is a long-winded preamble to my real point.

    Was Pope John Paul II misguided in his belief that the internet could be a tool for evangelisation?

    Look at how the internet is used: Al Quaeda, to keep this comment on topic, use it to encourage the bored to carry out their deviltry; Porn-merchants use it to encourage the bored to tarnish their souls by paying for filth; ‘Myspace’/’MSN’ etc.; use it to encourage bored youngsters to cyber-bully a kid they harass at school – a kid who becomes a willing victim by logging in and willingly seeing what his tormentors are saying about him; and we, the older ones, we get involved in silly conversations and silly debates. Why? Dare I say it? Because we are bored.

    So now, I ask again, can a medium that is such a useful tool for the Enemy (by which I mean the Prince of this World); can it be of any use in saving souls?


  18. toadspittle says:

    “Was Pope John Paul II misguided in his belief that the internet could be a tool for evangelisation? “
    Asks Hopeful62

    Toad suggests not. The internet is just that – a tool. It can be – and is – used for both good and evil.
    On the whole, Toad thinks it produces more good things than bad. But he might well be wrong.
    All those nasty things Hopeful62 cites are indisputable. But then, there is CP&S.

    And Hopeful62 is quite correct, again that one can’t ever ‘know’ anyone via the ‘internet.’ Whether anyone can ever get to know anyone else by any means whatsoever, is a fairly contentious point, Toad suspects.


  19. joyfulpapist says:

    I am profoundly certain that we can never really know anyone, including ourselves. At least, not in this life. Though it is fun trying.

    The Internet offers more opportunities for deceit, and fewer opportunities for detecting deceit, than many other forms of human intercourse. There are people whose online persona is quite different to the personality that they display to those they meet in the flesh – and they might have several online personas, all different. You may know the persona, but you don’t know the person. However, there are also people who attempt to present the same facets of themselves online as they do in person. You can, I think, get to know such people.


  20. omvendt says:


    I was referring toad’s ‘project’ – not whether one knows his innermost soul.

    I happen to think you can get know someone, by and large, via the net.

    Anyway, my point is that toad is no mere mischief maker.

    Enjoying your input.


  21. manus2 says:

    Hopeful, on an earlier thread were discussing whether our minds could be a help or hinderence to the faith. I’m afraid I’m an old fashioned optimist (influenced perhaps by reading too much CS Lewis in my youth): nothing is irredeemable, nothing cannot be turned to the good. Surely it is our duty to use these tools as well as we can. But of course much is abused and wasted by each and every human generation.

    What particularly interests me is the communal nature of these activities – so much is determined by the house rules. As Rabbit pointed out, this blog was set up by those frustrated by the high levels of dross on Damian’s blog. It’s natural enough for regular bloggers to become sufficiently familiar with one another that they can adopt language or habits that can be off-putting to those who only observe or visit occasionally. It’s a form of efficient communication, I suppose.

    As I said earlier, I think this blog is on the whole extremely positive and well managed, and I speak as a late arrival. The occasional reminder to respect the many readers who do not contribute – not too become to familiar – is a good thing too.


  22. manus2 says:

    Whoops – particularly garbled English there: should be “not to become too familiar”. That’s what playing with anagrams does for you.


  23. Frere Rabit says:

    Hopeful62, my “silly name” as you put it is not “Frere Rabbit” but Frere Rabit. Try and get up to speed, can you? Since you can only evidently comment on the superficialities while missing the substance on this blog, I wish you a happy nude year.


  24. toadspittle says:

    CP&S is indeed a ‘Broad Kirk.’

    One minute gravely debating ‘The Roots of Liberal Theology,’ the next whether ‘Frere Rabbit’ is a silly name, while ‘Frere Rabit’ is not.

    Though the latter question strikes Toad as hare-splitting.


  25. The Raven says:


    I think you’ve been at the hare-tonic with a joke like that!


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