A bomb exploded during Holy Mass, December 3 in a gym at Mindanao State University in the Philippines, killing at least four people and injuring at least 54.
ISIS claimed responsibility for the December 3 attack.
“I wish to assure my prayer for the victims of the attack that occurred this morning in the Philippines, where a bomb exploded during Mass,” Pope Francis said on December 3. “I am close to the families and the people of Mindanao, who have already suffered so much.”
In a statement following the attack, the president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines said: “Surely, the killers who precipitated such a horrendous act of violence have their loved ones too. What would it take to get them to see in the families of their victims their own families? Such violence should not only be denounced; it should also be renounced as a way of seeking redress by every peace-loving Filipino. We pray for the eternal repose of those who have died, and for the healing of those who have been injured. We unite ourselves spiritually with their families and draw strength and consolation from our faith in Christ who will “restore all things to himself, making peace by the blood of his cross…” (Col. 1:20)
On the other hand, Caritas Philippines has called for greater security at Christian gatherings in the wake of a deadly bombing at a Mass in the Catholic-majority nation.
“Concerted efforts must be made to prevent the recurrence of such violent incidents and to safeguard the fundamental right to worship without fear,” Caritas Philippines president Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo said after a terrorist attack during a Mass at Mindanao State University in Marawi on Sunday left four students dead and 50 injured.
Bishop Bagaforo said he was appalled “by the blatant act of terror that the perpetrators were able to commit”.
He urged all stakeholders, including the government and religious leaders, “to collaborate” to foster peace.
In a statement, Caritas Philippines expressed condolences to the victims and their families.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. issued a warning to the perpetrators.
“Rest assured, we will bring the perpetrators of this ruthless act to justice.”
Meanwhile, Bishop Marcelino Antonio Maralit, who leads the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines’ Episcopal Commission on Social Communications, offered a moment of silence for the terror attack victims at a gathering of Catholic communicators on Sunday, CBCP News reports.