The Egyptian State Information Service (ESIS) issued a press release mourning the departure of His Holiness Pope Shenouda III and expressing the condolences and sentiments of several prominent Egyptian politicians and dignitaries. ESIS also published a memorial website to His Holiness entitled Farewell to Pope Shenouda,” which can be accessed at http://www.sis.gov.eg/VR/popeshenouda/e/ehtml/link07en.htm.
In its press release, ESIS wrote,
An atmosphere of overwhelming grief prevailed in the Egyptian political scene over the death of Pope Shenouda III of Alexandria and Patriarch of St. Mark Diocese, who passed away on Saturday at the age of 89. The death of the Egyptian pontiff triggered several reactions of condolences and sympathy by the military, political and parliamentary quarters along with international reactions.
The Coptic Orthodox Church issued on Saturday a statement mourning Pope Shenouda to Egypt and the world at large.
Head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi was prompt to express his condolences to Egyptian Copts inside and outside Egypt. The military council approved three days off for Egyptian Copts to be able to mourn their leader and attend funeral ceremonies.
Also, Prime Minister Kamal el-Ganzouri extended condolences over the death of pope Shenouda, who was, as he said, an icon of patriotism.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr mourned the pope and extended condolences to all Egyptians inside and outside the country.
The Ministry of Awqaf also mourned the late pope and described him as a national figure. Minister of Awqaf Mohammed Abdel Fadeel said that Egypt has lost a lot with the death of pope Shenouda.
Other ministers followed suit including the ministers of interior, insurance and scientific research.
Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed el-Tayyeb and Mufti of Egypt Ali Gomaa along with Parliament Speaker Saad el-Katatni also mourned pope Shenouda.
At the Arab level, the Palestinian presidency, Mufti of al-Quds and Palestinian movement Fatah mourned the pope.
Arab leaders who extended condolences on the occasion included the head of state of the UAE and his vice president along with Patriarch of Maronite Catholics in Lebanon Bishara al-Rai who is now visiting Egypt.