Bomb attack on church in Tanzania

2013-05-06 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) One woman died and more than 40 people were seriously wounded when a bomb exploded in a Roman Catholic church in northern Tanzania yesterday.

Eyewitnesses reported the bomb was thrown from a motorcycle into the church. Officials said the driver of the motorcycle has been arrested.

The motive of attack is not known but Tanzania has in the recent past experienced sectarian violence between Christians and Muslims.

The Apostolic Nuncio to Tanzania, Archbishop Francisco Montecillo Padilla, was attending the official opening of the church when the explosion occurred. He escaped unhurt.

Archbishop Padilla spoke with Vatican Radio in the wake of the attack. “I would like to express my solidarity to the Archbishop of Arusha and to the whole Catholic community of Arusha, for the very sad event that happened.” The attack should not have happened, he went on, “because it was a celebration of joy, of opening a new church, a new parish. But my prayers go especially to the victims who have died and to those who are wounded – some of them very gravely.”

Archbishop Padilla said he would continue to pray for peace: “I pray that peace will always reign, that violence would not be the way to resolve tensions.”

“This is my hope,” he said, “and I hope that I can also contribute to the continuance of peaceful coexistence in this country, which has always been there in the last many years.”