Skip to comments.Egypt's new Coptic pope hopes for 'true renaissance' under Morsi
Posted on 11/06/2012 8:38:02 AM PST by annalex
In this Friday, 2 November 2012 photo, Bishop Tawadros speaks with reporters in Cairo, Egypt (Photo: AP)
"I received the news with tears," Tawadros declared from the Saint Pishoy Monastery in Egypt's northern Wadi Natroun district, after his name was picked from a glass ballot box in Sunday's elaborate 'Altar Lottery' in Cairo's St Mark's Cathedral.
"We appreciate the president," Tawadros told reporters at the monastery, in reference to Morsi. "He is still in the first months [of his term], but we hope he carries out a genuine national revival... so that Egyptians feel changes on the ground."
On Sunday, President Morsi sent a congratulatory communiqué to Tawadros, in which he highlighted the historic unity between Egypt's Muslims and Christians, voicing his congratulations to the nations' Coptic-Christian community on the occasion of the election of their next patriarch.
The situation of Egypt's sizable Coptic-Christian community has come under scrutiny following the election of Morsi, who hails from Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, the country's largest Islamist movement.
Pope Tawadros also declared his intention to reform the papal selection process, some aspects of which critics say are obsolete and in need of adjustment. He vowed that the promised reforms would be completed within one year of his inauguration as Coptic patriarch.
"The regulations have been the same for 55 years," he said. "Surely, time has caught up with some aspects of the selection process."
Tawadros went on to say that he planned to deliver weekly sermons on Wednesday, in the tradition of his predecessor, late pope Shenouda III, who passed away in March after leading the church for four decades.
Before becoming pope, Tawadros served as general bishop for Beheira and auxiliary to Archbishop Pachomios (who served as acting pope until Sunday's election). Tawadros is also a member of the church's Holy Synod.
Tawadros was born in 1952 and studied pharmaceutical sciences at Alexandria University. He was ordained bishop in 1997.
Egypt's Coptic pope rejects religious constitution(AFP) 4 hours ago
CAIRO Egypt's new Coptic Christian Pope Tawadros II has said he would reject a constitution still in the making if it imposed a religious state in the Muslim-majority country, newspapers reported on Tuesday.
Tawadros, whose minority community has become increasingly fearful of the rise of Islamists to power in Egypt, also urged Christians not to leave the country stressing that they have co-existed with Muslims for centuries.
"A constitution that hints at imposing a religious state in Egypt is absolutely rejected," he told journalists on Monday, a day after he was chosen pope, the independent Al-Watan newspaper reported.
A 100-member Constituent Assembly, dominated by Islamists and including politicians and public figures, tasked with drafting the new constitution is due to vote on the new charter on Sunday.
The new constitution is to replace the 1971 charter suspended by the military which took power when president Hosni Mubarak was ousted in February last year.
Under Mubarak, and according to initial drafts of the new charter, the constitution says vaguely defined "principles" of Islamic law are the main source of legislation.
Egypt Christians and Jews may conduct their personal status affairs according to their own religious laws, according to an initial draft published by the official MENA news agency. Addressing Copts who might be considering leaving Egypt, which has seen a spike in sectarian attacks on Christians over the past two years, Tawadros said Egypt was a "sacred land that has no equal in the world."
"As for our brothers in the country, whether Islamists or any others, we lived together for 14 centuries," he told the state-owned Al-Ahram newspaper.
Copts, the Middle East's largest Christian community, have suffered an increase in attacks that killed dozens of Christians after the overthrow of Mubarak and many had opposed the election in June of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi.
Morsi has pledged to allow the Christians equal rights, but the once banned Muslim Brotherhood to which Morsi belongs has repeatedly said it wants to gradually impose an Islamic state.
On October 23, an Egyptian court meant to rule on the fate of the Islamist-dominated constitutional panel instead referred the case to a superior court which has already expressed its opposition to the draft charter.
Copyright © 2012 AFP. All rights reserved.
Ping, please. Catching up with the church news.
Well, Morsi does sound a lot like di Medici.
Other fun things of the Renaissance:
The Black Plague.
Joan of Arc burned at the stake.
The European Wars of Religion.
Saint Bartholomew’s Massacre.
The Spanish Inquisition.
Expulsion of the Jews from Spain.
I hope the ideology of hate, death and destruction suddenly changes and starts treating all people with love and kindness regardless of their ideology or religion.
Judging from past performance, I am not optimistic.
"Renaissance" is probably the invention of the editor at the English version of al-Ahram, who put a flashier word in the headline.
Morsi could bring about a revival. Let us remember that Muslim Brotherhood was radicalized because it was driven underground; now that they get to actually govern the country they might suddenly grow up. Whether they do, is to be seen.
The Egypt Muslims do not have to love the Copts, simply respect their rights, as their own religion supposedly commands them.
Not going to happen for several reasons.
1) The MB has spun off dozens of radical terrorist splinter groups over an extended period of time, but this has not in any way increased the MB’s moderation. It continues to spin off such groups.
2) The MB’s reach is multi-national, so while Egypt is its largest branch, it cannot unilaterally change the policies and ambitions of MB as a whole.
3) The MB is under severe pressure from the far more radical Salafist movement, that will not tolerate variance from traditionally ineffective Islamist methods.
4) Egypt is a basket case of a country, with some terrible and unique problems, like 10% of the country being infected with hepatitis. (With the current breakdown of their medical system, this and other diseases are likely spreading at an even higher rate.)
This is not something that politics can readily fix. Nor is Egypt’s huge debt and needing to import most of its food.
The bottom line is that Egypt’s 80 million people are heading for a disaster, far beyond the ability of the MB to fix. Something has to give, and soon.
Yes, but at the same time they are on the US foreign aid tit that might modify their instincts.
Band-aids for bullet holes. While debt forgiveness and IMF loans don’t hurt, they cannot lift Egypt out of its economic mire. Call me deeply pessimistic.
I said nothing about economic mires. We’ve got our own. I think there is a possibility that the US, if we ever get rational leadership for ourselves, might use the aid to demand minimal guarantees of religious freedom, but, of course, we both will have a clearer crystal ball tomorrow.