CAIRO: Pope Shenouda III, Pope of Alexandria and the Patriarch of Saint Mark the Evangelist, returned on Thursday to Cairo after a short trip to the US to undergo a quick medical check-up in Cleveland, Ohio.
Hundreds of Copts were waiting him in the cathedral, shouting We love you Pope
The Pope was keen to shake hands with everyone who came to welcome him.
His sudden US visit on Monday on a private airplane owned by Coptic billionaire Naguib Sawiris triggered rumors that the Pope’s health was in critical condition.
But an hour before his arrival to Cairo Bishop Markos of Shoubra Al-Khama and the spokesperson of the church told Daily News Egypt that the Pope s health is excellent and that he will resume his schedule normally.
The Pope s health is good, but he had to travel to see his doctors after he felt little tired on Sunday, Shoura council member Hany Aziz who is close to the Pope told Daily News Egypt.
He insisted on shaking every body’s hand to confirm that his health is fine.
This is the best response to those who doubt his holiness s health, he added.
Aziz pointed out that Pope Shenouda spent only one hour in Cleveland hospital.
The Coptic Pope resumed his activities the day after he arrived, as he held an extended meeting with the patriarchate of Armenian and Syrian Orthodox Churches on Friday and Saturday.
Pope Shenouda III has served as Pope of Alexandria since November 14, 1971, presiding over a worldwide expansion of the Coptic Orthodox Church. During his papacy, he has appointed the first-ever Bishops to preside over North American dioceses that now contain over one hundred Churches, as well as the first Bishops in Australia and the first Coptic Churches in South America.
Although some of his stances on public issues have been controversial, he is known for his commitment to Christian unity and has, since the 1970s, advocated inter-denominational Christian dialogue.