MANILA — Catholic bishops on Monday expressed sadness over the explosions that hit churches and hotels in Sri Lanka, killing over 200 people on Sunday.

“It is too sad that those innocent worshippers whose intention was only to celebrate Easter died due to cruel acts of violence. I hope those who participated in planning and in the execution of the terroristic acts will not be given peace of mind unless they will repent and face the court of law,” Ozamiz Archbishop Martin Jumoad said in an interview.

With this, he urged the people to be vigilant and report to authorities, unscrupulous individuals who are planning to hurt people.

“I continue to appeal to all people of good will that we have to unite and never allow evil to succeed. Let us not hesitate to report to authorities if we feel and see someone is about to do something evil. Remember, evil triumphs if good men do nothing at all,” the Mindanao prelate said.

On the other hand, Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes slammed the attack which was done on Easter Sunday, an important occasion for Christians.

“The act is extremely evil and deserves universal condemnation in this world and in the world to come. The timing of the act alone is blasphemous because it happened on Easter Sunday when all are raised to eternal life because Christ our Head is risen,” he said in an interview.

“The choice of the places targeted was absolutely diabolic because people were gathered to thank God for giving us a glorious life without end. Even the hotels where the murderers committed suicide were not spared because many of the victims stayed there to enjoy the Day of the Lord's resurrection,” the Catholic prelate added.

At the same time, Bastes urged the people to continue to trust God and for authorities to continue to protect the public from harm.

“We the living can only entrust ourselves to God who judges justly while requesting the civil authorities to do their duty of keeping people safe from satanic terrorists!” he said.

Meanwhile, Bataan Bishop Ruperto Santos asked the public to pray for those who have perished and also for the people of Sri Lanka.

“Let us pray that they may remain strong, firm with their faith and rise up again. We pray for conversion and change of hearts for those who harbor false ideology. May the souls of those who perished may find eternal rest and at peace,” he said in an interview.

The Bataan prelate also denounced the attacks.

“False ideology breeds violence, nurtures hated. Violence will never achieve anything. It just sows destruction and death, must be denounced and condemned. Tragic events in Sri Lankan churches and hotels were attacks on peace and humanity. The whole world grieves and stands with the people of Sri Lanka,” Santos added.

Reports said the attacks started Sunday morning as blasts were reported from the St. Anthony's Church in Kochchikade in the capital of Colombo and another from the St. Sebastian Church in Negombo, at the outskirts of the capital.

A third blast was reported at the Zion Church in Batticaloa, in the east.

Explosions were also reported from three star-class hotels in Colombo while on Sunday afternoon, an explosion was reported from a hotel, opposite the zoo in Dehiwala, in Colombo and another from a housing complex in Dematagoda, also in Colombo. (PNA)