PANAMA CITY, Panama (3rd UPDATE) – Pope Francis strongly condemned the January 27 bombing of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Jolo, Sulu, that killed at least 23 people.
"I reiterate my strongest reprobation for this episode of violence which is once again plunging the Christian community into mourning," Francis said during an Angelus message as he wound up World Youth Day celebrations in Panama.
Let us pray for the victims of the terrorist attack on the Cathedral of Jolo, in the Philippines. May the Lord, Prince of Peace, convert the hearts of the violent, and grant the inhabitants of that region a peaceful coexistence. — Pope Francis (@Pontifex) January 27, 2019
Many of the victims were regular Mass-goers at the Jolo Cathedral. A first explosion happened during the Second Reading, followed by a second blast near the church entrance. (READ: 'They died for faith': Priests mourn Mass-goers in Jolo bombing)
This was not the first attack involving this place of worship. Since 2000, there have been at least 10 attacks directly against or near the Jolo Cathedral. – Rappler.com