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Author Topic: What Replacing Pope Shenouda III Entails  (Read 602 times) Average Rating: 0
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CoptoGeek
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« on: March 22, 2012, 11:56:50 AM »

One of the very best articles I've found on the topic.

What Replacing Pope Shenouda III Entails, And The Difficult Task Of Representing Egypt's Coptic Christians
Kurt J. Werthmuller
Research Fellow, Hudson Institute Center for Religious Freedom
Posted: 03/21/2012 12:03 am


"The Coptic Orthodox Church is now tasked with choosing its new leadership, and all of Egypt's Christians face an uncertain future in light of the nation's still-suffering state of public security, its rule of law deficit, and the rising authority of Islamists in Egyptian governance. It is clear that the Copts now need to unite more than ever. But it is also imperative that they seek greater rights, and not as a community that clings to an outdated sectarian order, held over from the Ottoman millet system and thrust upon them by Egyptian state and society. Instead, the Copts must demand, with every means at their disposal, a new order based on full and equal citizenship under a revised constitution. Egypt's existing socio-political order already consistently deal with the Copts as a collective entity, permanently conceived as an internal "Other"; it will be impossible for this to change as long as the Copts themselves -- and their leadership -- continue to willingly surrender to this status quo."


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“I returned to the Coptic Orthodox Church with affection, finding in her our tormented and broken history“. -Salama Moussa
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« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2012, 01:35:11 PM »

Thanks for posting this.

Just what the Copts need: some American (presumably) of German origin, lecturing the Copts on what they need to do, and how they need to maneuver their faith to gain political advantage.   Roll Eyes

Perhaps I'm being too harsh, but the Coptic Pope is the head of the Coptic Church, not all Copts.  Obviously there is a de facto responsibility that comes with the position, but it seems a tad presumptuous (and wrong) to suggest that HH Pope Shenouda III's replacement be chosen [edit->] primarily on the basis of his political acumen.  If you can get a spiritually wise and inspiring Pope who also has these worldly qualities, then even better.  Otherwise, I would leave the decision to the Coptic Orthodox Church.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2012, 01:37:48 PM by Cognomen » Logged

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CoptoGeek
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« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2012, 01:55:58 PM »

D'oh, I forgot to include the link!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kurt-j-werthmuller/replace-pope-shenouda-iii-egypt-coptic-christians_b_1367011.html
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“I returned to the Coptic Orthodox Church with affection, finding in her our tormented and broken history“. -Salama Moussa
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« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2012, 02:13:28 PM »

I don't think that's a very good article at all. He says things that the Copts already know (they shouldn't accept being second class citizens), but provides no actual insight or ideas on how to get from point A to B. We have seen what happens when the Copts try to protest for their rights at Maspero. We remember the massacres at El-Kosheh. One is in the "new Egypt", the other was in the "Old Egypt", and they look frighteningly the same, at least from where I'm sitting.

What are the Copts in Egypt supposed to do -- elect a politician to the papacy? God forbid! Are they supposed to storm the parliament and quarrel with the Islamists and their state-backed security forces that would no doubt crush any rebellion? Please do tell us, Mr. Werthmuller, as you seem to know what the Copts need to do.

I'm sorry to say this, but the time to secure equality was in 639 AD...it didn't happen then, and the Christians continue to pay for it. I think prayer is better than any political maneuvering anyway, and I doubt this Mr. Werthmuller would be so bold as to identify the real source of the problem, so what does it matter what he thinks about anything? He has no solutions.
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CoptoGeek
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« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2012, 02:16:27 PM »

Thanks for posting this.

Just what the Copts need: some American (presumably) of German origin, lecturing the Copts on what they need to do, and how they need to maneuver their faith to gain political advantage.   Roll Eyes

LOL, normally I'd agree and most articles I've read do just as you say. But, in this case, the author is quite knowledgeable of the Coptic Church.

Perhaps I'm being too harsh, but the Coptic Pope is the head of the Coptic Church, not all Copts.  Obviously there is a de facto responsibility that comes with the position, but it seems a tad presumptuous (and wrong) to suggest that HH Pope Shenouda III's replacement be chosen [edit->] primarily on the basis of his political acumen.  If you can get a spiritually wise and inspiring Pope who also has these worldly qualities, then even better.  Otherwise, I would leave the decision to the Coptic Orthodox Church.

Maybe I didn't include the best quote & not initially including the link wasn't helpful, but i think that's pretty much the point the author's trying to make.

The Copts in Egypt are no longer a "millet" under Ottoman rule and they should not be seen as the "internal 'Other'" but as individuals with full rights, so the Church could return to its true mission and stand outside of politics & group rights.

Quote
"The Copts' real hope does not lie in the maintenance of such a collective order that allows one ecclesiastical head to speak for all, regardless of the capabilities of the new patriarch. Rather, an improvement of their lot will only come through their effort as a community comprised of individual Egyptian citizens, unified by their faith but steadfast in their demands to be recognized as full and equal Egyptian citizens, with legal rights, personal liberties, and civic responsibilities identical to those of their Muslim compatriots."
« Last Edit: March 22, 2012, 02:17:12 PM by CoptoGeek » Logged

"Be oppressed, rather than the oppressor. Be gentle, rather than zealous. Lay hold of goodness, rather than justice." -St. Isaac of Nineveh

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« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2012, 03:06:05 PM »

Let us remember the Words of our Lord, God and Saviour Jesus Christ in the Gospel according to Matthew (6:33):
"But seek ye first the kingdom of God,and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."

I wish the Coptic Church to find a pope and patriarch with a strong Orthodox faith, as well as the ability to strengthen that faith among his flock. I also hope for Full Communion in Alexandria, as it already exists in Antioch.

No one can doubt that the situation for Christians in Egypt is hard. But human politics will not save anyone. Only Christ does.
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« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2012, 03:07:07 PM »

I don't think that's a very good article at all. He says things that the Copts already know (they shouldn't accept being second class citizens), but provides no actual insight or ideas on how to get from point A to B. We have seen what happens when the Copts try to protest for their rights at Maspero. We remember the massacres at El-Kosheh. One is in the "new Egypt", the other was in the "Old Egypt", and they look frighteningly the same, at least from where I'm sitting.

What are the Copts in Egypt supposed to do -- elect a politician to the papacy? God forbid! Are they supposed to storm the parliament and quarrel with the Islamists and their state-backed security forces that would no doubt crush any rebellion? Please do tell us, Mr. Werthmuller, as you seem to know what the Copts need to do.

I'm sorry to say this, but the time to secure equality was in 639 AD...it didn't happen then, and the Christians continue to pay for it. I think prayer is better than any political maneuvering anyway, and I doubt this Mr. Werthmuller would be so bold as to identify the real source of the problem, so what does it matter what he thinks about anything? He has no solutions.

But he did identify the problem: religion in politics. And he presented a solution: disestablishment. The Copts need to demand equal rights not as Copts or as Christians, but as citizens entitled to the same rights and protections as all other citizens, without regard to religion. He argued that the Church should be a Church and citizens should be citizens, not a continuation of the Ottoman Millet system. This is how religious liberty was established in the west and, really, the only model we have for building a society based on tolerance and mutual acceptance in the context of monotheistic religions. Short of a Crusade to liberate Egypt from the Mohammedans (this wouldn't end the persecution, just change it to a different group, but it isn't going to happen anyway), what other solution do you propose?
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« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2012, 03:11:10 PM »

I don't think that's a very good article at all. He says things that the Copts already know (they shouldn't accept being second class citizens), but provides no actual insight or ideas on how to get from point A to B. We have seen what happens when the Copts try to protest for their rights at Maspero. We remember the massacres at El-Kosheh. One is in the "new Egypt", the other was in the "Old Egypt", and they look frighteningly the same, at least from where I'm sitting.

What are the Copts in Egypt supposed to do -- elect a politician to the papacy? God forbid! Are they supposed to storm the parliament and quarrel with the Islamists and their state-backed security forces that would no doubt crush any rebellion? Please do tell us, Mr. Werthmuller, as you seem to know what the Copts need to do.

I'm sorry to say this, but the time to secure equality was in 639 AD...it didn't happen then, and the Christians continue to pay for it. I think prayer is better than any political maneuvering anyway, and I doubt this Mr. Werthmuller would be so bold as to identify the real source of the problem, so what does it matter what he thinks about anything? He has no solutions.

But he did identify the problem: religion in politics. And he presented a solution: disestablishment. The Copts need to demand equal rights not as Copts or as Christians, but as citizens entitled to the same rights and protections as all other citizens, without regard to religion. He argued that the Church should be a Church and citizens should be citizens, not a continuation of the Ottoman Millet system. This is how religious liberty was established in the west and, really, the only model we have for building a society based on tolerance and mutual acceptance in the context of monotheistic religions. Short of a Crusade to liberate Egypt from the Mohammedans (this wouldn't end the persecution, just change it to a different group, but it isn't going to happen anyway), what other solution do you propose?

Again, the problem is (as you have hinted at above) how to get there from here. It is one thing to call for disestablishment, but in the absence of a mutual agreement that the Muslims would likewise get THEIR religion and its law out of politics, what exactly does pointing that out do? We are on the same page here, I just don't understand how pointing out the obvious makes for a good article.

It seems like this argument would be better pointed at the Muslims than the Christians. The Muslim rulers, after all, invented the millet system.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2012, 03:13:03 PM by dzheremi » Logged

ialmisry
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« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2012, 03:46:37 PM »

On the procedure:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4BDg9lQd6c&sns=fb

I'm rather disappointed that widowers are barred from candidacy.
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« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2012, 03:46:37 PM »

I don't think that's a very good article at all. He says things that the Copts already know (they shouldn't accept being second class citizens), but provides no actual insight or ideas on how to get from point A to B. We have seen what happens when the Copts try to protest for their rights at Maspero. We remember the massacres at El-Kosheh. One is in the "new Egypt", the other was in the "Old Egypt", and they look frighteningly the same, at least from where I'm sitting.

What are the Copts in Egypt supposed to do -- elect a politician to the papacy? God forbid! Are they supposed to storm the parliament and quarrel with the Islamists and their state-backed security forces that would no doubt crush any rebellion? Please do tell us, Mr. Werthmuller, as you seem to know what the Copts need to do.

I'm sorry to say this, but the time to secure equality was in 639 AD...it didn't happen then, and the Christians continue to pay for it. I think prayer is better than any political maneuvering anyway, and I doubt this Mr. Werthmuller would be so bold as to identify the real source of the problem, so what does it matter what he thinks about anything? He has no solutions.

But he did identify the problem: religion in politics. And he presented a solution: disestablishment. The Copts need to demand equal rights not as Copts or as Christians, but as citizens entitled to the same rights and protections as all other citizens, without regard to religion. He argued that the Church should be a Church and citizens should be citizens, not a continuation of the Ottoman Millet system.
Yeah, they did that after the revolution with the abolishment of millet courts.  What happened was that the Christian judges were out of a job, the Christians lost a sympathetic/understanding ear on the bench, and the Muslim qadis became the citizen judges.

Even the disestablished West shows the influence of the Church which it refuses to thank.
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A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
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If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
ialmisry
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« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2012, 03:46:37 PM »

I don't think that's a very good article at all. He says things that the Copts already know (they shouldn't accept being second class citizens), but provides no actual insight or ideas on how to get from point A to B. We have seen what happens when the Copts try to protest for their rights at Maspero. We remember the massacres at El-Kosheh. One is in the "new Egypt", the other was in the "Old Egypt", and they look frighteningly the same, at least from where I'm sitting.

What are the Copts in Egypt supposed to do -- elect a politician to the papacy? God forbid! Are they supposed to storm the parliament and quarrel with the Islamists and their state-backed security forces that would no doubt crush any rebellion? Please do tell us, Mr. Werthmuller, as you seem to know what the Copts need to do.

I'm sorry to say this, but the time to secure equality was in 639 AD...it didn't happen then, and the Christians continue to pay for it. I think prayer is better than any political maneuvering anyway, and I doubt this Mr. Werthmuller would be so bold as to identify the real source of the problem, so what does it matter what he thinks about anything? He has no solutions.

But he did identify the problem: religion in politics. And he presented a solution: disestablishment. The Copts need to demand equal rights not as Copts or as Christians, but as citizens entitled to the same rights and protections as all other citizens, without regard to religion. He argued that the Church should be a Church and citizens should be citizens, not a continuation of the Ottoman Millet system. This is how religious liberty was established in the west and, really, the only model we have for building a society based on tolerance and mutual acceptance in the context of monotheistic religions. Short of a Crusade to liberate Egypt from the Mohammedans (this wouldn't end the persecution, just change it to a different group, but it isn't going to happen anyway), what other solution do you propose?

Again, the problem is (as you have hinted at above) how to get there from here. It is one thing to call for disestablishment, but in the absence of a mutual agreement that the Muslims would likewise get THEIR religion and its law out of politics, what exactly does pointing that out do? We are on the same page here, I just don't understand how pointing out the obvious makes for a good article.

It seems like this argument would be better pointed at the Muslims than the Christians. The Muslim rulers, after all, invented the millet system.
Not exactly.  The Roman emperors, pagan and Christian, did that.
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Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
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