Monday, April 14, 2008

Egypt complains to Britain at treatment of Coptic pope

With Pope Benedict XVI coming to America tomorrow I would like to post this story and ask my brothers and sisters to think how Catholics would feel if our Pope was treated this way:

CAIRO, April 8 (Reuters) - Egypt has complained to the British government about the way security treated the head of the Egyptian Coptic Church in the VIP lounge at Heathrow airport in London, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

Airport security insisted on March 30 that Pope Shenouda, 84, go through normal security checks, including a metal detector and a body search, local papers said. The body search was eventually waived when the cleric objected, the papers said.

The Foreign Ministry told the British ambassador in Cairo that the Egyptian people were extremely offended at the incident and the British government should explain what it called "this unacceptable behaviour, which led to an angry reaction on the part of Egyptian public opinion", a statement said.

Britain replied that it regretted the incident but that religious leaders and other VIPs are not exempt from the standard security procedures at Heathrow, the statement added.

It quoted the British ambassador, Dominic Asquith, as saying he was awaiting a report from London on the incident and would ask for a meeting with pope Shenouda to apologise.

Pope Shenouda is the spiritual leader of most of Egypt's Coptic Christians, who number up to 10 percent of the country's 75 million people. He was in England to open a new cathedral in Stevenage in Hertfordshire, north of London. (Writing by Jonathan Wright; Editing by Catherine Evans) Source

I think this is totally unbelievable. I am glad the ambassador will apologize. That this even happened is outrageous.