Philippines: bomb explodes during Christmas Mass
December 27, 2010
A bomb exploded during Christmas Mass in a chapel on the island of Jolo, injuring 11. “I was reading the Gospel,” said Father Romeo Villanueva. “I was not yet finished when there was a loud explosion.” The Islamic separatist group Abu Sayyaf is suspected in the attack, which was condemned by the mainstream Muslim National Ulama Conference.
While 82% of the nation’s 90.5 million people are Catholic, the Jolo area is heavily Muslim: fewer than 3% of the area’s 1 million residents are Catholic. Jolo’s previous ordinary, Bishop Benjamin D. de Jesus, was slain in front of the cathedral in 1997.
- Bombing wounds 11 at Christmas Mass in Philippines (AP)
- Ulamas condemn Jolo church bombing (CBCP)
- Philippine priest forgives Muslims following bishop’s murder, works for peace (CWN, 11/1/10)
- Grenade thrown at Philippine cathedral (CWN, 1/11/10)