Letter of H.G. Bishop David to H.E. Mor Cyril

DAVID, BISHOP OF NEW YORK & NEW ENGLAND
COPTIC ORTHODOX PATRIARCHATE
3 SWIM CLUB ROAD
STONY POINT, NY 10980

March 21, 2014

His Eminence Archbishop Mor Cyril Aphrem Karim
260 Elm Avenue
Teaneck, NJ 07666

Your Eminence, Dear Brother in Christ,

My flesh and my heart may fail, But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalm 73:26)

It was with tremendous sadness that we learned today of the repose of our beloved father, His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, as His Holiness was undergoing medical treatment in Germany. During his more than thirty years upon the Throne of St. Peter, His Holiness proved to be a loving and worthy shepherd of the portion of the flock of Christ entrusted unto him, an icon of personal holiness, and a champion of the Orthodox Faith in the modern world.

His Holiness will always be remembered among the Copts as a dear and personal friend of His Holiness Pope Shenouda III of thrice-blessed memory, a stalwart ally in the face of common persecution, and a fellow laborer in Our Master’s Vineyard. The love of His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I for the ecumenical movement, particularly as it concerned the unity of the Oriental Orthodox family of churches, was well known. In 1965, as a young bishop (known at that time as Mor Severios), His Holiness participated in the famous Addis Ababa Conference, which gathered for the first time in modern history the heads of the Oriental Orthodox Churches. Later, in 1998, along with H.H. Pope Shenouda III and H.H. Catholicos Aram I of the Great House of Cilicia, he helped to establish the annual meeting of the heads of the Oriental Orthodox Churches in the Middle East. Always, Sayedna Anba Ignatius made it clear to his children among the Copts that he considered us as dear to him as his own people.

On behalf of the clergy and faithful of the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of New York and New England, I would like to offer our sincere prayers and condolences to Your Eminence and to the people of your archdiocese and the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church.

May God repose His Holiness in the bosom of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and may his memory be eternal.

With Fraternal Love in Christ Our Lord,

DAVID, BISHOP OF NEW YORK & NEW ENGLAND
COPTIC ORTHODOX PATRIARCHATE

12 Paremhat 1730 A.M. (21 March 2014 A.D.)
The Commemoration of the Archangel St. Michael