Coptic Pope Shenouda III failed to deliver his scheduled bi-monthly sermon in Alexandria on Sunday.
According to an anonymous source at the Alexandria Archbishopric, the pope called off his sermon to "send a message" to both the Alexandria governor and head of security that he had been "offended" by reported plans by Salafi Muslims to stage protests condemning a Coptic bishop.
Last month, Coptic Bishop Bishoy sparked controversy when he publicly challenged the authenticity of certain Quranic verses.
Coptic bloggers, for their part, announced plans to launch a counter-campaign on Facebook next Wednesday in support of the pope.
Coptic Church Undersecretary Sergios, however, said the pope had merely postponed his sermon due to prior engagements. “He will deliver his sermon next week,” Sergios said.
In a related development, hundreds of Egyptian Coptic expatriates on Sunday staged protests before the Egyptian consulate in Los Angeles, in which they condemned demonstrations by Muslims in Egypt to demand the release of Camillia Shehata, the wife of a Minya priest who was reported to have converted to Islam.
In its latest quarterly report, meanwhile, the US Copts Association accused Shenouda of "working against" the interests of Egypt's Copts.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.