Bishop leads moment of silence for Marawi blast victims

December 3, 2023 - 6:20 PM
Law enforcement officers investigate the scene of an explosion that occurred during a Catholic Mass in a gymnasium at Mindanao State University in Marawi, Philippines, December 3, 2023. (Lanao Del Sur Provincial Government/Handout via Reuters)

A Catholic bishop led a moment of silence at a gathering of Catholic communicators for the victims of an explosion that ripped through a congregation attending Mass at a southern Philippine university on Sunday.

At least four people were killed and nine were injured after an explosion rocked the gymnasium of the Mindanao State University (MSU) in Marawi City where the victims were attending Mass.

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Speaking during the 12th Catholic Social Media Summit (CSMS) at the Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu in Mandaue City, Bishop Marcelino Antonio Maralit condemned the violence and requested a moment of prayer for the people killed.

“Let us offer a moment of silence and prayer for them,” said Maralit, who heads the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Social Communications, in the middle of his talk.

The MSU, in a statement, described the incident as “senseless and horrific” and assured support and assistance to those affected by the tragedy.

The university also suspended classes until further notice and has deployed additional security personnel to safeguard the campus.

“Our immediate priority is to ensure the safety and well-being of all constituents, particularly our Christian community,” the university said.

“We are aware of the heightened sensitivities and concerns that arise from such a tragic event, and we want to assure everyone that we are taking every measure possible to protect our students, faculty, and staff,” it added.

The MSU also said it is working closely with the local authorities to investigate the incident “and bring the perpetrators to justice”.

“We stand in solidarity with our Christian community and all those affected by this tragedy. We will not be deterred by this act of violence, and we will continue to work towards building a more peaceful and just MSU community,” it said.

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