Pope calls for peace in Egypt

Manila, Philippines --- Pope Francis has renewed his call for peace and reconciliation in Egypt.

The vice-director of the Vatican Press Office, Father Ciro Benedettini, CP, said the Holy Father "continues to follow with growing concern the serious news coming from Egypt and continues to pray for end to violence, and that the parties choose the path of dialogue and reconciliation."

The pontiff had earlier launched an urgent appeal for peace in Egypt, assuring "the victims, their families, the wounded and those who suffer" of his prayers during the Angelus prayer on the Feast of the Assumption.

The Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt, headed by Pope Tawadros II, supported the call of Pope Francis, saying that the "unfortunate incidences occurring in our nation Egypt" and "the attacks on the government offices as well as our peaceful churches which are terrorizing our citizens both Coptic and Muslim" stand "against all religions."

"These actions stand against all religions, morality, and humanity. We commend the stance of the friendly and loyal countries who understand the nature of these turn of events," the statement said.

"We send our condolences to all the victims and martyrs of duty that gave their lives, and we pray for the recovery of all the injured and afflicted. We persevere in our strong national unity and repulse any attempts to polarize our nation into a secular conflict," the statement added.

Denouncing what it described as "erroneous reporting that is being broadcasted in the western media," the Coptic Orthodox Church head asked "the international and western media (to) please report a valid account of the events with accuracy, truth, and honesty."