Following the Coptic demonstration at Maspiro that ended in a bloodbath His Eminence Cardinal Antonios Naguib wrote the following response:
"Be joyful in hope, persevere in hardship, keep praying regularly… Never pay back evil with evil, but bear in mind the ideals that all regard with respect. As much as possible, and to the utmost of your ability, be in peace with everyone... Do not be mastered by evil, but master evil with good." (Romans 12:12-21)
In the light of these recommendations of Saint Paul, we are seeking our way, at this time in which it is difficult to have a clear vision for the present and the future.
With wounded hearts, we join all the sincere forces of our nation, responsible for the present and the future of our beloved country, to express our deep sorrow for the bloody events, suffered by honest and sincere children of the Nation.
They wanted to contribute to the country’s democratic process, with peaceful demonstrations, like hundreds of other citizen groups. Unfortunately, it ended with the violent death of around 25 people, the majority of whom were Copts, and 329 injured.
We raise our prayers for the eternal rest of the victims, the healing of the injured, and the comfort for the grieving families. We ask that all Masses and prayers, on Sunday 16th of October, be dedicated to these intentions.
We also joined all Christians, in fasting, and praying, following the call of His Holiness Pope Shenouda III, so that God may give his peace to our dear country.
Providing security and safety
While condemning again all acts of violence and all those who commit such acts, we call on officials to take the necessary steps and firm measures to provide security and safety, establish clear and stable solutions to the problems that cause tension and conflict, uphold the law’s supremacy in dealing with conflicts and crimes, and ensure the objectivity of the media.
We have full confidence that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, the Government and the Judiciary, are able to lead the country to stability and security, ensuring the well-being and dignity of all citizens.
We call on all members of our Churches to dedicate their whole strength, to live in a sincere spirit of citizenship, of caring fraternity with all their brothers and sisters in the country, and to work diligently in all the fields in which they are engaged, and positions they occupy.
We call on them also to participate, in Egypt and abroad, in the current political and electoral process – this is a sacred duty, which it is not allowed to abdicate – aiming at establishing a modern democratic State, based on the law, full citizenship, equality, justice, and the guarantee of freedoms.
This is in order to ensure a better future for Egypt, a shining future based on hope and work, to which we continue to contribute generously through our institutions for education, charity and development, at the service and for the good of all the citizens of our beloved Egypt, trusting in the Divine Providence that sustains us.
May the Almighty and Loving God help us, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Peace, come to our aid, for his glory and the good of the whole country.
Kobri-El-Kobbeh, Cairo – October 2011
+ Antonios Naguib
Patriarch Cardinal of Alexandria of the Coptic Catholics
President of the Assembly of the Catholic Patriarchs and Bishops of Egypt