The Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of All Africa on the Holy See of St. Mark the Apostle, H.H. Pope Tawadros II, accused Egyptian security forces for failing to prevent the sectarian attacks at El-Khosos and St. Mark's Cathedral.
Tawadros II stated that security forces came up short in performing their duties since it was possible to contain the situation, but that a state of unrest and idleness in Egypt fostered, allowing the horrific attack to take place.
He noted that this is the first time in Egypt's history that the Coptic Orthodox Church's headquarters has been assaulted.
"My condolences to all the families of those who passed away at both incidents," His Holiness added, stating that he is following the situation and is in touch with the presidency, as well as the government, and Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayyeb.
The patriarch said that his current service schedule for the near future is currently scheduled outside of Cairo, but he added that he is in touch with the bishops in Cairo as well as security officials in the area.
"My heart wrenches in pain because of the blood spilled and the unrest in the Egyptian streets," Pope Tawadros said during a phone interview with the Coptic "Mar Marcos" channel.
"I can understand the furious reaction by the youth inside and outside the cathedral," Pope Tawadros added. "Their anger is usually well-founded, but we must think well before taking any steps as Egypt's image is more important than anything."
His Holiness stated, saying that while he appreciates the sentiments shown by the government, the president, and all Muslims, he sees these actions alone not fulfilling the demand for swift and just action.
St. Mark's Cathedral will be holding a funeral service for the victims of the attacks next Thursday, with Pope Tawadros II and many bishops scheduled to be in attendance.
Used with permission from MidEast Christian News (MCN). Read more from MCN by clicking here.