Today the Holy Father sent a telegram to the Patriarch of the Coptic Catholic Church in Egypt, His Beatitude Antonios Naguib, to express his condolences upon the death of Cardinal Stephanos II Ghattas, patriarch emeritus. The prelate died yesterday in Cairo, Egypt at the age of 89.
In the telegram, Pope Benedict wrote of his prayerful union with the Coptic Catholic Church, “with the family of the deceased and with all those who mourn." He also asked “the risen Christ to welcome into His joy and peace this faithful servant of the Church who, first as a missionary of the Congregation of the Mission, then as bishop of Luxor, and finally as patriarch, committed himself with zeal and simplicity to the service of the People of God, in a spirit of dialogue and coexistence with everyone."
The Pope concluded his message by conferring his apostolic blessing upon “bishops, priests and faithful of the Coptic Patriarchate of Alexandria, upon the Lazarist confreres of the late cardinal, upon his family and upon all those who, with hope, participate in his funeral."