It is with deep sadness we mourn the passing of a great Christian Leader, His Holiness Pope Shenouda III. His Holiness was a humble servant of the Coptic Church, a man of deep faith, firm principles and real love of his fellow man.
His Holiness’s connection to Ethiopia and the Imperial Family blossomed when he first visited Ethiopia as Pope in 1971 for the enthronement of Patriarch Abune Theophilos. The execution of Empeor Haile-Selassie, Defender of the Faith and Abune Theophilos Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church following the coming of the Derg regime in 1974 left a deep scar on His Holiness who was not to return to Ethiopia until 2008. Throughout the darkest days of the Derg rule, His Holiness faithfully visited the Imperial Family in exile.
On his first return to Ethiopia in 2008, when he received a massive welcome Pope Shenouda traveled directly from the airport to the Holy Trinity Church where he proceeded to place wreathes on the tombs of Emperor Haile-Selassie and Empress Menen, and proceeded with prayers for the repose of their souls.
Pope Shenouda was a champion of Non-Violence and a great believer in facilitating dialogue between religions.
We pray that may the Almighty rest the soul of His Holiness in peace and give strength to the people of Egypt, the Coptic Orthodox Church and all those who love the Pope throughout the world.