Vatican City: Pope Benedict XVI has said the
Catholic Church shares the pain of the Coptic Orthodox Church
over the death of its patriarch, Pope Shenouda III.
Benedict sent a message of condolences today following
Shenouda`s death yesterday at age 88.
Shenouda led Egypt`s Christian minority for more than 40
years amid increasing tensions with Muslims.
Benedict has called for greater protections for Egypt`s
estimated 10 million Christians amid a surge of recent
attacks, but his message today steered clear of polemics and
focused on conveying his prayers for God`s "faithful servant."
Pope John Paul II met with Shenouda during his 2000 trip
to Cairo and Pope Paul VI hosted Shenouda at the Vatican in