In the passing away of His Holiness Pope Shenouda III, the 117th Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt, the world has lost a most beloved spiritual leader. Pope Shenouda’s influence has been wide and deep throughout his papacy. The Coptic Church has experienced a profound and unparalleled renaissance under his leadership. He was the author of over 100 books, a great theologian, and an indefatigable servant of God.
The Eritrean Orthodox Church and its adherents are particularly touched by His Holiness in a very special way. He was the one who ordained Eritrea’s first five bishops, its patriarchs and presided in the church’s attainment of autocephaly. Our own beloved patriarch, His Holiness Abune Antonios, one of the five bishops, was later on enthroned to the patriarchate by Him. Upon Abune Antonios’ illegal removal from his throne in 2005 and subsequent imprisonment in January 2006, Pope Shenouda stood unflinchingly by the Eritrean Orthodox Church and her patriarch.
We are immensely saddened by his departure. May God receive his beloved servant in paradise in the bosom of all the saints! We are consoled in the knowledge that he is now interceding on our behalf, much as he has done while he was with us.
H.G Bishop Makarius and the North America Diocese of the Eritrean Orthodox Church sends its heart-felt condolences to the Coptic Church and the people of Egypt.