The Egyptian Catholic Church welcomed the news of the resignation of Benedict XVI in a positive and constructive note. The Coptic Orthodox Church instead took a discreet profile and many prelates consider this decision unusual and unprecedented in the tradition of the Eastern Churches. However, they respect the choice of the Pope and refrain from making comments.
The Coptic Catholic Patriarch Antonios Naguib, said that'' the Pope made before God Almighty the right decision at the right time.'' Recently, the same prelate, ten years younger than Benedict XVI, has resigned for health reasons.
Bishop Adel Zaki, Egyptian bishop of the Latin Church and former head of the Franciscan order in Egypt said:'' At first we were amazed and surprised. The decision has given rise to many questions. Soon we realized that this man has always stood out for his simple and bold decisions, as well as for his clarity and profound sense of responsibility. As a result, he is aware that his duties require a solid spiritual and physical energy due to the current pace of life and the impact that the Church has on the world. In a time when everyone is in the struggle for power, the position counter is a model we should follow. This is very important for Egypt, where many parties are trying to gain consensus. Only Christ is eternal and not the thrones or glory.''
Bishop Kyrillos William of the Coptic Catholic Diocese of Assiut in Upper Egypt, said:'' The Pope has revealed a deep modesty and courage at the right time and has taken a bold and unprecedented decision.''
For Mgr. Youhanna Golta, patriarchal vicar of the Catholic Copts,'' Benedict XVI gave to the whole Church an example of true holiness. Demonstrating the depth of his spirit and his belief in the continuity of the Church based on Christ. With great pride and some sadness he went on to say that the Pope is a great gift for us, sacrificing himself to the end. May God welcome him as a saint by the Church.''
The bishop of the greek orthodox diocese of the Nile Delta Nicolaus, said that'' the greek-orthodox reacted with great respect and esteem for this brave and difficult decision. In our day, the resignation is a very positive attitude that each and every ecclesiastical personality should keep in mind. Everyone should follow the example of Benedict XVI.''
Archbishop Georges Chihan, Maronite Bishop of Egypt emphasizes the historic step taken by the pope and his wisdom that made him aware of the difficulties in continuing his pastoral action. Surely Benedict XVI has made his choice after a period of profound prayer and deep meditation. Do not forget that before being appointed Pope was in charge of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. "
Bishop Antonios Aziz, Coptic Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of South Cairo said we pray to God to send to the Church a shepherd'' good and brave as Benedict XVI.''
Father Henri Boulad, a Jesuit priest expressed his deep appreciation for the Pope and thanks him for his'' courage, his humility, his simplicity and sense of responsibility.''
Finally, p. Rafic Greiche, spokesman for the Catholic Church in Egypt and priest of the Melkite Church notes that'' this passage shows the greatness of the Church and the glory and the greatness of man ... the Pope is leading the way for a renewal of leadership. In only eight years, he has enriched the Church with his thoughts, his science and his wise management. The history will remember him as the one who has convened two synods specific regions of the Middle East and Africa. This is of vital importance if we consider the great challenges that emerged after the movements of the Arab Spring and the precarious economic situation in Africa. He will also be remembered as the pope who has consistently urged Europe to get rid of atheism, in recognition of its Christian roots, and to abandon the consumer economy.''