30 July, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 06/10/2005
JORDAN
'Agreement and harmony' among Eastern Christians, say Orthodox Copts
by Youssef Hourany
Interview with Pope Shenouda III: the dialogue with Catholics, which is stalled over the Petrine primacy, must be renewed. Christians' flight from the Middle East is worrisome. Church property belongs to the faithful and cannot be sold.

Amman (AsiaNews) – Eastern Christians are in "agreement and harmony"; dialogue among them must continue and be based on mutual trust. This is what Pope Shenouda III, head of the world's Orthodox Copts, told AsiaNews in an interview in which he spoke about the dialogue with the Catholic Church, which the primacy of the Bishop of Rome has made difficult but which he hopes can be renewed during the pontificate of Benedict XVI.

Pope Shenouda III, who is in Amman (Jordan) for the Ecumenical Council of Churches of the region, is head of the world's more than 10 million Orthodox Copts, especially those of Egypt.

He said that "inter-faith dialogue in the Arab region is not a condition for the religions' survival because agreement and harmony [already] reigns among their religious leaders".

"Dialogue must be based on mutual trust among all religious components of the Arab world, including Catholics," he added, "but not with the 'Jews'. Not until Jerusalem is freed from the Israeli presence will the Orthodox Coptic Church go there".

Answering a question about developments in Israel after the sale of Church property by former Patriarch Ireneos to Israeli interests, Shenouda said he "firmly condemned these unjust acts because Church properties belong to the faithful, not the leaders."

The leader of the world's Orthodox Copts calls on Christian religious leaders not to sell their properties which remain the only guarantee for a Christian presence in the Middle East.

Shenouda III is notably concerned about the future of Christians in the region because of the worryingly "high flow of Eastern Christians towards the West and the region's ongoing difficult situation." Still, he says "we must place our hopes in the Lord of History, Guardian of His people".

Pope Shenouda III said that the ecumenical dialogue with the Catholic Church, which began in 1973 after the Second Vatican Council when he undertook his historic visit to the Vatican where he signed a joint declaration with then Pope Paul VI, is currently stalled over theological and dogmatic issues.

"The major stumbling block in the ecumenical dialogue remains the primacy of the Bishop of Rome. It prevents any further development with the Eastern Churches because Jesus Christ did not choose a single successor but gave this power to single Churches," he explained. In his view, the leaders of all the Eastern Churches are successors to Jesus Christ.

Pope Shenouda III did however express his Church's satisfaction over the election of Pope Benedict XVI, who, he said, has shown himself very open to inter-faith dialogue.

For this reason, he is calling on the Catholic Church not to interrupt discussing issues of common interest.

Finally, he said he was confident that the young constitute "the springtime of the Church". Consequently, he announced the creation of a unit devoted to the young within Orthodox Coptic Patriarchate. It is the first time that is done and the new body is chaired by a very young bishop.

"We want to follow the young and lead them onto the right path," he said. "This is an urgent commandment in this day and age if we are to protect them from evil's influence".


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
04/20/2009 MIDDLE EAST
Despite some difficulties Orthodox Easter joyfully celebrated across the Middle East
01/19/2010 VATICAN-MIDDLE EAST
Churches of the Middle East: witnesses of Jesus in a world with more shadows than lights
11/24/2008 VATICAN
Pope: saddened and concerned over situation in Lebanon and entire Middle East
02/03/2005 MIDDLE EAST – USA
Peace, not "conflict management", the goal for Middle East
by David-Maria A. Jaeger*
10/24/2005 ISLAM - EGYPT
"Forget violence, foreign to our heritage," say Coptic and Muslim leaders
by Jihad Issa

Editor's choices
VATICAN
"Stop! I am asking you with all my heart. Stop!" says pope as he speaks out on the Middle East, Iraq and Ukraine He mentions children, victims of war, "from whom we take away the hope for a decent life," urging the parties to address "every diatribe with the tenacity of dialogue and negotiation and the power of reconciliation". As tomorrow marks 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War, "a day of mourning," we should learn the lessons of history. The Gospel makes us know the true Jesus, the living Jesus, who speaks to the heart and is a life changer as he was for Saint Francis of Assisi. "The joy of finding the treasure of the Kingdom of God comes through, can be seen. Christians cannot hide their faith."
IRAQ - VATICAN
Saddened by "the timidity of the civilised world," Baghdad patriarch's heart bleeding "for the innocent in Iraq, Syria and Gaza" "Forget us not!" says Mar Louis Sako in a message to Card Barbarin on the occasion of the march of solidarity with Iraqi Christians, held today in Lyon.
VATICAN
Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.