Upon learning of the death of Cardinal Antonios Naguib, Patriarch emeritus of Alexandria of the Copts, on Monday, 28 March, Pope Francis expressed his condolences in a telegram addressed to His Beatitude Ibrahim Isaac Sidrak, Patriarch of Alexandria of the Copts. In the telegram, Pope Francis expressed his closeness to the entire Patriarchal Church for the loss and emphasized how Cardinal Naguib was a perfect “example of a good shepherd” for his Church. The following is a translation of the Pope’s telegram, accompanied by a brief biography of the late Cardinal.
On learning the news of the death of His Beatitude Cardinal Antonios Naguib, Patriarch emeritus of Alexandria of the Copts, I would like to express my condolences to your Beatitude, to the priests, to the family of the late Cardinal and to all the faithful, assuring you of my closeness in prayer and sorrow, which has afflicted the entire Patriarchal Church. I remember this dear brother, who took Veritas-Caritas as the motto of his episcopate, for his faith and priestly zeal, which led him to be attentive to the formation of priests and to make it his first priority. I think of his generous commitment in the field of development and social service: he founded an apostolate group dedicated to the service of the needy and the suffering, and was an example of a good shepherd in the Church. He was general rapporteur at the Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops. I therefore raise my prayers to God and ask him, by the intercession of Our Lady, the Virgin Mary, to welcome his faithful servant with the angels and Saints into the heavenly Jerusalem. I pray with you, give you my blessing and ask you to pray for me.