Pope Tawadros II yesterday received the families of the Copts who died during the recent attacks against them in the Cairo district of Khusous and in the grounds of St Mark’s Cathedral in Abassiya
Pope Tawadros II yesterday received the families of the Copts who died during the recent attacks against them in the Cairo district of Khusous and in the grounds of St Mark’s Cathedral in Abassiya. The Pope had arrived in Cairo the day before and had, before heading to the papal headquarters at St Mark’s, rushed to hospital to visit those who had been injured in the attacks.
Pope Tawadros received families of the seven Copts who had lost their lives in a closed meeting that lasted for some 30 minutes during which the media was kept out. Only the cameras of the three TV satellite channels affiliated to the Church were allowed in.
Abdel-Muizz Attiya, the brother of the Khusous victim Marzouq Attiya, 45, told Watani that the Pope gently and lovingly offered them his condolences, and blessed them. Attiya, who is closely following on the official investigations, did not appear to trust that justice will take its course, an said that only God can ease the pain he feels at the loss of his brother. Attiya’s daughter, however, insisted that justice must be served. “It’s the only thing we owe my father,” she said.
The tears of the mother of Hilal Saber Hilal flowed unchecked as she mourned her 21-year old. She was inconsolable. “I don’t know why they killed my boy,” she said. “He was on his way back from work when a number of men came out of nowhere and asked whether he was a Christian or Muslim; when he said he was Christian they stabbed him with a knife. He fell, and they drenched his body with gasoline on him and set him ablaze.”
“When he was in the hospital I kept on telling him ‘you’ll get better and be just fine’, but he only said ‘Christ wants me, Mum’”, she sobbed. Hilal died in hospital four days after he was taken there. The after-death report declared that the death was owing to burns over 75 per cent of his body.
Hilal’s father appeared more composed and said that Divine justice will redeem his son, but he wished that official justice would also be served.
Morqos Kamal’s brother, Magdy Kamal, told Watani that he was the one who raised his brother since their father died when Morqoa was only nine months old. “I saw him grow up, and I helped him get an education and get married, only for them to rob him of his life at 25,” Kamal said. He said that his brother went down to defend the church as soon as he heard that it was under attack, he was thus the first to be shot.
The Pope prayed for the members of the families of the deceased, and gave them golden crosses and pictures of the saints for comfort.
16 April 2013