Baba Shenouda Searched at Heathrow Airport

edited December 1969 in Random Issues

I heard of a news story on the net about Baba Shenouda being in England recently, and being searched at Heathrow airport. Has anyone heard of this story, and does anyone have a link to an article about it?

Rabana maak,



  • Hey Matt,
    I've heard of this too. I don't have an article, but I'll tell you what i've heard. Pope Shenouda was searched for over 1 hour by a Pakastani muslim who made sayedna take off his socks, shoes, kolonsoa, and his big black hat, bournos, and also made sayedna put all of his personal belongings in his regular luggage such as his cross, and a pocket agpeya.

  • That just breaks my heart..just knowing that our beloved Baba Shenouda is treated like that!!

    Coptic Servent
  • [quote author=Coptic Servent link=topic=6453.msg85208#msg85208 date=1207534417]
    That just breaks my heart..just knowing that our beloved Baba Shenouda is treated like that!!

    Coptic Servent

    I agree completley. :(
  • This is all I could find, that was the most current:

    Coptic Servent
  • Woah, if that's exactly what happened I would be extremely horrified!

    I just found another article here on the matter -->

    And from al masry al youm it's clear that he did have to do more than just go through the security scanner. I hope the whole truth of the matter is released soon because no religious leader should ever be treated like that.

    Rabana maak,

  • El-Masry El-Youm is usually not trust worthy, but it seems that there is some truth to this matter.

    Why is everybody surprised though ? Pope Shenouda has been through banishment and ill treatment before, and so do all the saints. The prince of the world and its mighty ruler will always work against the men of God. You guys put too much faith in the Western civilization and its rules, when it is the most corrupt among all nations. 
  • Its disgraceful that something like this should happen - where is respect?
  • It is sad..
  • The issue is not the Airport officer, or in Pope Shenouda III.  The problem is in the minimal preparation and abysmal regard that our people have for their own Pope.  Proper protocol  would have been to arrange for passage through the airport prior to the movement.  It underscores the ad hoc aspect of our Community.  We do not treat His Holiness for the full honors that he deserves, and by not being prepared he is embarassed by the airport officer either looking to do his job accordingly or being disrespectful to a Christian Hierarch.

    If the Coptic People in that portion of His Holiness' trip did not do the proper preparation, then SHAME ON THEM...SHAME ON THEM for their carelessness!

    This issue should be studied in more regard, and it should be looked at through the aspect of lobbying the Egyptian Government for Diplomatic Papers/Passport so that he does not have to go through this ordeal again.

    The man has suffered enough injustice and ridicule.  His children and flock should be more sensitive towards defending him and elevating him beyond the stupidity of the foreigners.
  • ilovesaintmark, your concern in remarkable, and I commend you for loving our Father Pope Shenouda so much. You truly set an example that many should follow. However, I must tell you that H.H. always has one or two accompanying bishops at the least, and sometimes also has priests and arch/deacons. I do not blame the airport security - you must take into consideration that their primary goal is the safety of human lives. They were just doing their job.
  • I disagree with ilovesaintmark. Like Severus said, there are ALWAYS 2 bishops at least with sayedna who make sure that all things have been taken care of. When Sayedna came to consecrate our church last month, Sayedna Anba Younnais accompanied his holiness. My parish priest told me that Anba Youannis had called him at least five times to make sure that the airport is aware of sayedna. And on top of that, Anba David had made sure of that as well by calling our priest because he wasn't sure if this was taken care of or not as he wasn't in contact with Anba Youannis. Although usually I blame things on the congregation when it comes to stuff like this, I don't think this can be blamed on them.

    It also can't just be anyone who calls the airport to tell them. Some random member of the congregation isn't going to do this. At the least, a member of a church board. This was in England, I'm pretty sure Anba Angaelos took care of this. If he didn't, then it's his fault solely unless he told someone else to do it. But it can't just be blamed on the general congregation. They have absolutely no power. Some random person can't just call heathrow and tell the security people.
  • I agree that some random person should not be taking care of these sensitive issues.

    The bottom line is that the responsibility was not carried forward.

    A better solution for the long run is to have official liasons from the Church in each major country with official contact to the highest government officials for such issues.  Secondly, one should not delegate such an important matter.  Thirdly, the Egyptian Government should render official papers to exempt His Holiness or the Bishops. 

    As for the accompanying entourage of deacons or lay people, they can follow the regular protocol.  Actually, I was going to say something else but I know I would have to word a long apology after that statement.


    Having heard things, it lends me to think even more that someone dropped the ball and did not carry out their responsibility.  You know what happens when you:  assume.

    Look, people, the care for the dignity of His Holiness, is a care for our own dignity.  He represents all of us.  If we do not show him the proper care, dignity, love, and admiration, do you think others will also?

    Some of the recent offenses, such as this incident, the encircling of the Egyptian Government, the rising of evil (e.g., Max (Satan) Michel) against His Holiness directly relates to our lax aspect in caring for our Father and Church Shepherd.  Never mind the fact His Holiness has aged and there should be even more sensitivity to the extra needs and to maintain his dignity.  Remember, he is in his 80's and he should not be subjected to this stupidity.

    I agree that the airport security officer was essentially doing his job (I'll give him the benefit of the doubt), but even more definite, somebody in the Church did not do his job.

    I will bet that, despite the indignity of the situation, His Holiness still looked angelic, kept his humor and demeanor, and conducted himself with the regality of a human being that he is.

    Thank God the Father for this Father...Thank God the Son for His Care of His Holiness...and Thank God the Holy Spirit for having given us His Holiness Pope Shenouda III.
  • ilovesaintmark, good post.

    Do not hold that statement back; rather, express your feelings. We are all mature enough on this board to handle it ;)
  • Severus,

    You're a funny guy.  I think you have finally figured out that there are certain things that get my ire very quickly.

    You're also a good guy.
  • Thank you, you also ;)
  • Hmm, it's not fair to just say the Pope's team failed because this is the first time it happened. Secondly, an article said his team refused to allow him suffer the indignity of going through the security scnner, but then he was forced to by airport staff just before he boarded the plane.

    As for the Egyptian government, they have lodged a formal complaints to the British government so it's clear their official position is that he shouldnt have been searched in the way he was. Lastly, I dont think it's fair to say they were just doing their job. Woud the Pope of Rome been searched? Would the Prime Minister of Malaysia been searched? Would the Chief Rabbi of Israel been searched? I think not. As noted, it was the first time he was checked so it must have been an error from the side of the airport staff.
  • We can't really judge what happened since we don't know exactly. Did someone not do their job by infroming the airport of Sayedna's coming or were they informed and didn't care. Until this question is answered, I don't think we can really say anything.
  • I think no matter what happened this is a huge insult to the coptic community. I am not trying to start problems at all but just saying that this is seriously an insult. This would never had happened to the Catholic pope for example, it would have been front page in news papers. England would have had to apologize. But because we are nice people. No one knows maybe this was planned so that H.H. Recieves a greater position in the Paradise.
    "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose."(Romans 8:28). And sayedna was called according to his purpose.
  • Ok, finally a more authoritative article

  • Even if it happened only once, it is one time too many.  I read the link and it did not elucidate much more in terms of facts.  I still say that if someone from the Coptic Church's side was negligent on any issue, they deserve quite a lashing.  If it is from the British Authorities, then there should be a formal apology from the Prime Minister and the Head of State (who is co-incidentally the Head of the Anglican Church) Queen Elizabeth.
  • [quote author=ilovesaintmark link=topic=6453.msg85315#msg85315 date=1207679016]
    ...I still say that if someone from the Coptic Church's side was negligent on any issue, they deserve quite a lashing...

    Again, I bring up a point. What if it was a bishop's or priest's fault?
  • Severus,

    So what!  A Priest or a Bishop does not make it better or acceptable.  It actually makes the issue even worse.

    If it were so, it proves my point even further that the issue with the dignity of Our Pope lies in the fact that we do not carry the full honors and dignity for him.

    As an added point, there is nothing new about these trips.  There should already be in place a template and travel system.

    He has been traveling since his enthronement.  His most notable journey was to the Vatican in 1973.  I would love to take care of His Holiness on a daily basis.  It would be an honor to put past any of my daily activities and duties.  If he says the word, I'm there in a heart beat.  You know what I can guarantee a military and US Marine attitude about his care and not this ad hoc nonsense that I see all the time.  We need quite a bit more discipline.

  • A priest or bishop still carries high levels of respect and dignity, and so we can not just blame them and give them a hard time for such things. To blame them, or to say that "they deserve quite a lashing", would be, in my honest opinion, very disrespectful.

    And, let us keep in mind that those who were responsible were Egyptians. I won't say more than that ;)
  • [quote author=Severus link=topic=6453.msg85330#msg85330 date=1207688170]
    And, let us keep in mind that those who were responsible were Egyptians. I won't say more than that ;)

    Ahem.  :)
  • ilovesaintmark, i agree with you but you need to stop using the

    We have no fault. This responsibility is given to the bishop of the diocese anba angaelos who must actually go to heathrow days before the pope's arrival to fill out paperwork for him. Since this is the first time it's happened, i doubt HG forgot to do this. That's why I would blame the Airport Security and not anyone else.

    Assuming your using "us" referring to the congregation of britain, refer to my last posts to see what I thought about that.
  • I'm with PopeKyrilos- we the congregation of the UK, aren't in the wrong here - a question- did it happen as H.H. was entering or leaving the country?
  • well.. im pretty sure in the Artical it said he was with the egyptian ambasador in UK...  i think if they didn't let him pass throu with him.. than even with popes and priests, they would not have let him go
  • [quote author=josephgabriel link=topic=6453.msg85332#msg85332 date=1207688767]
    [quote author=Severus link=topic=6453.msg85330#msg85330 date=1207688170]
    And, let us keep in mind that those who were responsible were Egyptians. I won't say more than that ;)

    Ahem.  :)

    Oh, you know how organized we are, I see you smiling ;)
  • [quote author=Severus link=topic=6453.msg85348#msg85348 date=1207690685]

    Oh, you know how organized we are, I see you smiling ;)

    we should be ashamed of ourselves...  >:(  but  :)
  • I am troubled by this matter as much as the next person.

    So lets take a moment to Pray Thanking God for a wonderful Sheppard to guild us to him.
    Lets also Thank Him for helping Sayedna in this situation.
    And lets pray asking for the Protection of our Father Sayedna H.H Pope Shenouda III

    Pray for me a Sinner
    God Bless
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