June 9, 2010

Holy Synod of the Coptic Church Rejects Egyptian Court Rule

(Deje Selam, June 9/2010):- The Coptic Orthodox Holy Synod rejected the unchristian decision passed by the Egyptian Islamic court. An Egyptian court issued a controversial ruling on Saturday, May 29, which deprived the head of the Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Church of the control over matters of divorce and marriage, giving the civil courts the authority to oversee affairs which the Church considers are in its core religious competencies.
The Supreme Administrative Court’s ruling compels HH Pope Shenouda III, Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church, to give a license for marriage for the second time to a divorced Coptic man, rejecting Pope Shenouda’s appeal and upholding the ruling by a lower court.

The Supreme Administrative Court, headed by Justice Mohammed Husseini, based its ruling on the “right to family formation is a constitutional right, which is above all other considerations.” It went on to say that although the court respects religious feelings, it has to govern in accordance with the law. The provision of the Supreme Administrative Court is final and no further appeals are possible.

The verdict comes on the heels a lawsuit filed by Hani Wasfi Naguib against Coptic Pope Shenouda, challenging the grounds on which the Church refused to grant him a license to marry again after his divorce from his first wife.

Declaration of the Holy Synod of the Coptic Church
The Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church, gathered on 8 June 2010 at the Papal residence and chaired by His Holiness Pope Shenouda III along with the attendance of eighty-one Metropolitans and Bishops and the endorsement of nine fathers who did not attend, declares that the Coptic Church respects the law, yet it cannot approve rulings that are against the Bible and against the religious freedom that is promised to us by the Constitution. The church also declares that for us Matrimony is a holy sacrament and a purely religious matter, not a mere administrative procedure.
The Islamic Sharia declares “govern them according to their beliefs”, likewise, the word “according to their tenet” appears in all legislation pertaining to the Personal Statute. Law 462/1955, rulings of the Court of Cassation, the Supreme Constitutional Court and the Criminal Court, all mentioned that the Patriarch is not a public official.
As for imposing on the Church, religious matters that are against our laws, i.e. against the Bible and the church canons, this is something that our consciences cannot approve and we definitely cannot execute.
For the re-marriage of divorced people, it is a strictly religious matter that is governed by the Bible.
Metropolitan of Damietta, Kafr El-Sheikh and Barary
Secretary of the Holy Synod
Pope Shenouda III
Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St Mark
Coptic Church Protests Egyptian Court Ruling on Marriage License


Christian said...

If that is the church's rule they have to respect. Those people who want to remarry can go somewhere and get married. The church rule is a rule that no one cannot change. If you accept it live with in it, but if not leave the religion and try to find a faith that matches your will. The sad thing is, this question is raised by the coptic people. I think they should know that earlier in their life. God be with all christians.

Fikirte Amanuel said...

+ + +

If the current situation of our country continues, similar things will happen in our country & the big question is do we really have a power to resist (oppose) court's decisions like the Egypt Orthodox Church?

Let God show his presence to his peple!

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