Coptic Christians celebrate Christmas; Pope offers Prayers for Peace – UPDATE

As reported by Catholic Culture: “Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office, has responded to criticism of Pope Benedict by the former grand mufti of Egypt.” They went on to quote from Father Lombardi’s Vatican Radio address, the main points being:

–  A reiteration of the Holy See’s commitment to promote religious freedom, “…for the religious freedom of Christians has always been within the context of his (the Pope’s) concern for the religious freedom of all people, not only Christians.”

–  A need for people of all faiths to work towards peace, to “commit themselves to opposing a foul plan that evidently aims to divide, to arouse tension, hatred and conflict.”  This is tied to the Pope’s invitation for a peace summit in Assisi this coming October.

–  Coptic Christians begin their Christmas celebrations tomorrow evening, January 6th. We are encouraged to “unite ourselves to them in profound solidarity with their suffering and with prayers for the peace of all their communities.”

It is this last point that I dedicate this post. To our Coptic Christian brothers and sisters, as they begin their celebrations of Christmas (coinciding with the day many Christians traditionally celebrate the Epiphany of Christ). May this Christmas bring healing and peace to their wounded hearts and communities.

Come then, let us adore the newborn King, the Christ who comes to save us all, and extend the prayers for peace of Pope Benedict XVI: “We pray especially for peace throughout the world, and I invite all of you to join in heartfelt prayer to Christ the Prince of Peace for an end to violence and conflict wherever they are found.”:

Dormi, Jesu! Mater ridet,
quae tam dulcem somnum videt,
Dormi, Jesu blandule!
Si non dormis, mater plorat.
Inter fila cantans orat:
Blande veni somnule!
Sleep, sweet babe my cares beguiling,
Mother sits beside thee smiling,
Sleep, my darling, tenderly,
If thou sleep not, mother mourneth,
Singing as her wheel she turneth,
Come, soft slumber, balmily.

___

UPDATE: Egyptian Muslims to act as Human Shields for Coptic Christian neighbors

Related:

Father Zuhlsdorf: Grand Imam in Egypt disagrees with Pope Benedict’s call for respect for Christian lives

Lisa Graas: Vatican to Egyptian Imam: ‘No war may be waged in God’s name’

Michael Coren: Religious Intolerance

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