10/20/2015, 00.00
VATICAN – EGYPT – ISLAM
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Sharm el Sheikh priest tells Synod that mixed marriages are an underestimated threat

by Garas Boulos Garas Bishay
Fr Boulos Garas Bishay is parish priest in Egypt, at the Virgin Mary Queen of Peace Church. He expressed to the Synod Fathers his "profound worry and concern” about mixed marriages between Muslim men and Christian women. This trend is rising and will soon come to the West. “I often wonder in amazement and sorrow, why ‘the Christian party’ gives up so easily his or her cultural affiliation, faith and identity”.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Fr Boulos Garas Bishay, parish priest at the Virgin Mary Queen of Peace Church in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, spoke to the Ordinary Synod on the Family that mixed marriages are one of the tools of the Islamic "demographic invasion". In Islamic countries and in Europe, marrying a Muslim entails converting to Islam. The rising number off mixed marriages between Muslims and Christians “does not only touch Muslim countries or tourist areas,” but “affects the West” and “deserves serious examination and study.” Here is his full statement.

Let me first thank God for giving me an opportunity to take part in “this moment of grace,” as the Holy Father called it in his opening homily.

I want to talk about points 57 and 127 of the Instrumentum laboris, starting with my pastoral experience as parish priest at the Church of Our Lady of Peace in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

I want to express my profound worry and concern at a broad socio-cultural trend in tourist areas, like Sharm El Sheikh, that of mixed marriages between Christian women from Russia and Europe, with Muslim men (under Islamic law, only Muslim men can marry women of other religions).

Such a trend, which comes with mass population shifts, growing number of refugees and migrants in Europe, does not only touch Muslim countries or tourist areas. It also affects the West. Thus, it deserves serious examination and study. We are talking about families, different notions of morality, and dual cultural and religious affiliation.

To this effect, let me mention an excellent document by the Italian Bishops' Conference, released in 1990, which correctly discourages mixed marriages, especially those with Muslims because of "profound differences".

We must not forget that Islamic law allows polygamy and that the Qur‘an requires fathers to give their children an Islamic education.

There is, in short, a "profoundly different cultural and religious anthropology" that can easily turn into a major crisis for mixed couples and to lead to break ups with irreparable rifts that fall heavily on children.

At the same time, I often wonder in amazement and sorrow, why "the Christian party" gives up so easily his or her cultural affiliation, faith and identity, and participate, without realising it and with tremendous superficiality, to the realisation of the Islamic plan of "demographic invasion".

The question we must now ask is what the Church can do to help these families and these women, who have been often deceived and abused. What can it do to help their children, who are often rudderless and distressed.

I entrust their fatherly care to Your Holiness and their cause to the Synod Fathers.

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