Sunday, February 27, 2011

Pope Shenouda interviewed on recent Egyptian events

( - In a recent interview conducted by Father Daoud Lamei, His Holiness Pope Shenouda clarified points in the Statement which he issued on behalf of the Holy Synod and commented on aspects of the Egyptian Revolution.

What was meant by a civil nation ?

A civil nation is defined as a non-religious and non-military nation.

You spoke of the valiant Egyptian army ?

Praising the army in the statement recalls a long history. While still a university student, I volunteered in the army and graduated from the school of Infantry in 1947.

Are you optimistic about the future?

I am not tending to talk about optimism but rather about hope in God. We are asked not to lose hope. This is an integral part of our relation to God. Our life, as well as the life of countries, abides not in the hands of people, but in the hands of God. There is no doubt, the authorities want good for the country whether on the internal level (unity, security and prosperity) or on the external level (events in surrounding Arab Countries, possible reactions of Israel…etc.). In these days, our priority should not be to put forward demands and exert pressure on the regime but to support the leadership to pass through this difficult phase and arrive to a safe haven.

Some people suggested that the church was a main beneficiary from the old regime, not knowing what we have been suffering from.

In a TV interview with Amr Adeeb, some 6 months ago, I mentioned that the problems of the Copts can be summarized in one word ‘marginalization’. Copts are marginalized from high official positions, syndicates, legislative councils, university staff…etc. Another main element has been the frequent violent attacks targeting Copts. We remember the El Kosheh assassinations (21 dead and no sentence has been made against anyone by the court), Abu Korkas (9 people assassinated inside the church and no one has received death penalty – according to the law), Dayrout (14 killed including children), the Alexandria church this year (30 killed, 90 injured), Omraneya Church (where we were unjustly blamed for the events) but we thank the Lord for having people released before the Feast of Nativity early in January.

On the other hand, I cannot deny that we had good relations with President Mubarak as a person. That’s why I see it a personal obligation of loyalty not to mention bad points but rather to remember the good ones. The problems we suffered were mainly due to those surrounding him. Now after the revolution, they have been apprehended and are being prosecuted...
Complete article here.

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