The Holy See's Ambassador to Cairo, Michael Fitzgerald, visited the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in Sohag Sunday and gave a copy of the Quran to headquarters’ officials as a present.
Archbishop of the Catholic Copts Youssef Abouel Khair, archbishop of the Orthodox Copts Bishop Bakhoum, a number of leaders from the Catholic and Orthodox churches and MPs from the Freedom and Justice Party in the governorate accompanied Fitzgerald during the visit.
Pope Benedict XVI is following the changes taking place in Egypt with much interest and relays his love and respect for the Egyptian people, said Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald also congratulated the Muslim Brotherhood for the FJP’s victory in parliamentary elections.
The Muslim Brothers are now in a great position of leadership and responsibility, he said, adding that he prays for God to guide them toward righteousness in their handling this burden. Fitzgerald confirmed that the Catholic Church leaves the choice to the people and does not support any party.
Fitzgerald stressed the support of Catholics for religious freedoms including the freedom to practice religious rites and the right to have places of worship on the condition that they do not disturb public order. Those freedoms also include the freedom of faith and belief for everyone, as no body or government has the right to impose belief or faith on anyone, he added.
The Vatican Ambassador called for achieving equality and justice between all members of society and for all Egyptians to enjoy the values of the revolution and the nascent feeling of freedom. He also hoped that the Muslim Brotherhood works to build an Egyptian society where opportunities are equal.
An official with the administrative office of the Muslim Brotherhood in Sohag, Hammam Ali Youssef, said that the ousted regime presented a marred image of Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood to the West, but the revolution has returned the honorable image of security, love, brotherhood and the values of Egypt throughout the different Pharaonic, Roman, Coptic and Islamic eras of Egypt’s history.
It is time for Europe and the West to listen to the Muslim Brotherhood and know about their values, he said.
Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm