23-August-2013 -- ZENIT.org News Agency |

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Cardinal Leonardo Sandri Appeals For End of Violence in Egypt

Prefect of the Congregation for Eastern Churches Calls For Dialogue and Reconciliation

By Junno Arocho Esteves

VATICAN CITY, August 23, 2013 (Zenit.org) - In an interview with L'Osservatore Romano, Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, the Prefect of the Congregation for Eastern Churches, called for an end to the continuing violence in Egypt.

"The Congregation for the Eastern Churches is following, with great concern, the terrible situation in Egypt, shares in Pope Francis' prayers for the victims and those who continue to suffer the severe consequences of the ongoing bloody conflict in the Egyptian community," Cardinal Sandri said in a statement. The Cardinal also joined Pope Francis' appeal for "dialogue and reconciliation that will lead to restoring civil peace, resuming social life, and reconstructing the areas affected by the events".

Recently hundreds of Christian churches have been looted, burned or desecrated in attacks by supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood, who are protesting the ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi. Fighting on both sides of the conflict has resulted in hundreds of deaths across the country.

Cardinal Sandri also expressed his "fraternal closeness" to the Coptic Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria, Tawadros II, as well as to the members of the Catholic Coptic Churches, the Eastern Catholic Churches, and the Churches of the Latin Rite in Egypt.

"May the Lord support them in such a difficult trial of the entire nation. He comforts those who suffer in body and spirit, especially the innocent, and embraces the many victims with his peace. Their tears are the tears of all Eastern Churches throughout the world," Cardinal Sandri's statement read.

The Prefect of the Congregations for Eastern Churches encouraged the people of Egypt to not lose hope that one day Egypt will have a "fruitful spring of humanity and freedom." Cardinal Sandri also appealed for the safeguarding the dignity of all in Egypt, as well as for a "mutual understanding between Christians and Muslims."

"May all Egyptians be aided without discrimination by the international community in finding means of peaceful coexistence. May peace, education, health, housing and all that is necessary for a human life be guaranteed to each person," he said.

Concluding his statement, Cardinal Sandri echoed the Holy Father's words, who he said "prays and suffers for Egypt. "[I entrust] Egypt and all of its inhabitants to the Holy Family, who fled to the land, which has over the centuries been considered blessed and holy for its hospitality to the Redeemer," Cardinal Sandri concluded.

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