Pope Francis expressed his closeness to victims of a fire at Abu Sefein Church in Giza, Egypt, which broke out on Sunday, 14 August, killing dozens. Among the deceased was Bishop Abdul Bahkit, along with many children. The telegram, signed by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, was sent to His Holiness Tawadros II, Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of Saint Mark.
The Pope said he “was deeply saddened” when he heard the news. The Holy Father offered “heartfelt condolences and the assurance of spiritual closeness to the injured and those affected by this tragedy”. He “entrusts the victims and their families to the merciful love of almighty God and invokes upon all consolation and strength in the Lord”.
According to Egyptian authorities, the fire was caused by an electrical failure in an air conditioning unit in the church.