- For Anba Tawadros II, the newly elected patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox
Church, Christians and other minorities should have their place in the future
Egyptian constitution, which has become hostage to Islamists following the
victory of the Muslim Brotherhood in recent elections.
In his first press
release, the prelate said that the Church would oppose any step taken by the
constituent assembly to impose Islamic law on the country. "If the constitution
addresses one part of the community and ignores another it will take society
backwards," he said. "The beauty of Egyptian society is the presence of Muslims
beside Christians. Diversity is strong and beautiful," he added.
Sunday, Anba Tawadros II was the bishop Behayra (Rosetta, Nile Delta). A trained
pharmacist, he studied at the Anba Bishoy Monastery and has been committed to
the reunification of all the Churches, especially of Copts dispersed around the
elections, messages of congratulations have been pouring in, including from Egyptian
President Morsi and Pope Benedict XVI.
Today, he is set
to receive a delegation from the Apostolic Nunciature to Egypt.
of Shenouda III is "a great figure who knows well the situation and problems of
the Coptic Orthodox Church and Egyptian society," said Fr Rafic Greiche,
spokesman for the Egyptian Catholic Church. "He is only 60, and this gives
Christians a lot of hope that his tenure will last a long time."
All the media in
the country followed the process of electing the patriarch, a sign of the
important place Christians have in this predominantly Muslim country.
there were two kinds of reaction, according to Fr Greiche.
Leaders in the
Muslim Brotherhood, including President Morsi, expressed positive comments,
offering to work with the head of the Coptic Church to build the country. "Such
a position bodes well for future relations with the country's political
majority," Fr Greiche noted.
ignored the event, refusing to congratulate the Christian community. Instead,
they reiterated the primacy of Islam on the country.
Muslim extremists gathered in front of the seat of the Diocese of Shobra
el-Khema (Cairo), blocking the entrance and shouting slogans against Christians,
the patriarch and the president, They have taken over a plot of the diocese planting a sign with Ebad Al-Rahman Mosque", said the spokesman of the Catholic Church. "(S.C.)