MONTEVIDEO – More than 100 religious faithful gathered on Sunday at the Puerta de la Ciudadela, an historic monument in downtown Montevideo, to commemorate Palm Sunday in a procession led by Uruguayan Cardinel Daniel Sturla, who blessed the palm fronds carried by believers.
In his homily, the cardinal remembered the victims of the bomb attacks staged on Saturday in two Egyptian churches causing at least 38 deaths and injuring more than 100.
“I cannot fail to mention to you ... that in Egypt this morning, two bombs in two Christian churches killed more than 30 Christians who were celebrating, like us, Palm Sunday,” said the cardinal.
He asked the faithful at the Puerta de la Ciudadela not to forget that “being Christians also means bearing the cross.”
“Today we join with these Christians who have been martyred in Egypt and we feel with them and with this Church that is suffering,” Sturla added.
The cardinal blessed the palm fronds of the faithful and headed the procession, which moved along Rincon Street in the Old City to the Montevideo Cathedral, where the celebration ended with the celebration of Mass.
According to Latinobarometro’s “Religions in the Time of Pope Francis,” published in 2013, Uruguay is the Latin American country with the smallest percentage of Catholics – 41 percent of the population – and the state with the most atheists and agnostics, some 38 percent of the citizenry.
Uruguay also officially separates church and state, as per the Constitution.