I have often wondered what inconvenience a well dressed bishop would suffer at an airport, not just the bling but the very scratchy selice(s), the heavy penitential brass icons worn under one's shirt, the sacred relics that one had sworn always to carry on one's person, even the cloth covered metal cassock buttons, to say nothing of the bullion fringing on the stole worn under one's cassock.
Britain's ambassador to Egypt met with Coptic Pope Shenouda III, the Patriach of Alexandria, seen here in 2004, on Tuesday in a bid to defuse an escalating row after authorities at London's Heathrow airport tried to search the Orthodox pontiff.
On Sunday the Egyptrian press reported:
Egypt said on Sunday it would step up airport security procedures for British officials after authorities at London's Heathrow airport tried to search the head of Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Church.Egypt has already complained to Britain after airport authorities on March 30 tried to physically search Pope Shenuda III, 84, who has a diplomatic passport, before he boarded his flight.
He was not physically searched but was "forced to go through a metal detector," Egypt's Deputy Foreign Minister Wafa Bassim told the Shura Council, the upper house of Egypt's parliament.As a result "we will apply the principle of reciprocity and treat British representatives the same way," following the March 30 incident. She said that a "firm letter" had been sent to the British Foreign Office about the incident.During the same session, Shura speaker Sawfat al-Sherif demanded an official apology from the British government.A spokeswoman for the British embassy in Cairo could not confirm that the letter had been received and declined to say whether ambassador Dominic Asquith would be meeting Shenuda to apologize for the incident.