By Heba Fahmy
CAIRO: Members of Parliament stood for a minute of silence to mourn the passing of Pope Shenouda III, after offering their condolences to the Egyptian people during Monday’s session.
Pope Shenouda III of Alexandria passed away on Saturday at the age of 88. His body is placed on the papal throne in the Cairo Cathedral in Abbaseya until the funeral on Tuesday.
“We lost a national icon and a man who left a void in the political arena at a critical time when we are rearranging our Egyptian home,” Parliament Speaker Saad El-Katatny said.
The Pope repeatedly said that there is “no sectarian tension in Egypt — merely failed attempts to divide national unity,” added El-Katatny.
MP Mostafa Bakry hailed Shenouda’s stance against “the Zionist” entity by refusing to normalize relations with Israel.
MP Mohamed Gabr, representing El-Adl Party, hoped that the Church will continue to move in Shenouda’s footsteps.
Members of the hardline Salafi party reportedly left the session when the MPs were offering their condolences; however, some returned later and offered their condolences.