A Letter Written
By: Pope Shenouda III
In an attempt from president Sadat to split the church he passed a decree in parliament stripping Pope Shenouda III from his Papacy and sending him to the monastery under house arrest. He then allocated a group of Bishops to run the affairs of the church. His plane was quickly cut short after his assassination shortly after his decree.
This is a letter from Pope Shenouda during his house arrest in 1981 at St Bishoy’s monastery in Wadi el Natrun. It demonstrates his faith and leadership in such a difficult time in church history:
My beloved children, priests, and congregation
Peace and grace to you from God;
I am writing this letter to you from a retreat location in the Monastery, to assure you for now, as The Bible said; “and we know that all things work together for good to those who love God”, and sure that God will always pastor His Church and care for It.
Thus, I want you to live in calmness and the inner peace derived from the trust in God and His promises, and the goodness of His providence and His love to humankind.
The ecclesiastical situation; whether for me or for the five bishops appointed by Mr. President, is the same, it hasn’t changed.
From the depths of my heart, I pray to God for them in all their work and grant success to their path. They are all among the honorable fathers, they have a long experience in serving the church, and they are also the subject of my love.
This period which we are going through needs great wisdom, from above, from the Holy Spirit. This period also needs faith and prayer.
I ask God to be with you, and protect all of you and let us hear every good news about you.
Be well, in good health in the Lord, and absolved from His Holy Spirit.