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Coexistence the only way for Egypt

· The Prefect of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches relaunches the Pope's appeal ·

The Congregation for the Eastern Churches “following, with great concern, the terrible situation in Egypt, shares in Pope Francis' prayers for the victims and those who continue to suffer the severe consequences of the ongoing bloody conflict in the Egyptian community”. Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Prefect of the Congregation, said this in a statement released to our newspaper this morning, Wednesday 21 August. “In union with the Pope”, the Cardinal hopes that the country will reinforce “dialogue and reconciliation that will lead to restoring civil peace, resuming social life, and reconstructing the areas affected by the events”.

In expressing “fraternal closeness” to the Coptic Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria Tawadros II and to his community, Cardinal Sandri addressed “a special thought” to Catholic Coptics, led by Patriarch Ibrahim Sidrak, with Cardinal Antonios Naguib his predecessor, and to all the bishops, priests and faithful of the Eastern Catholic Churches and Churches of the Latin Rite in Egypt: “May the Lord support them in such a difficult trial of the entire nation. He comforts those who suffer in body and spirit, especially the innocent, and embraces the many victims with his peace. Their tears are the tears of all Eastern Churches throughout the world”.

The Cardinal encouraged all to keep the hope alive, that “Egypt may experience a fruitful spring of humanity and freedom, especially religiously, living in justice and solidarity, thanks to the responsible efforts of all of its inhabitants”. Hence he made an appeal for “the dignity of the individual and communities to be safeguarded and that they be enriched in an admirable binding of religion, culture and history, and mutual understanding between Christians and Muslims. May all Egyptians be aided without discrimination by the international community in finding means of peaceful coexistence. May peace, education, health, housing and all that is necessary for a human life be guaranteed to each person”.

Returning to Pope Francis' exhortation, “who prays and suffers for Egypt”, Cardinal Sandri joins him in his “confident plea for the beloved land of Egypt”, entrusting “Egypt and all of its inhabitants to the Holy Family, who fled to the land, which has over the centuries been considered blessed and holy for its hospitality to the Redeemer”.

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