Vatican ecumenism forsakes Egypt’s Christian minorities

Vatican ecumenism forsakes Egypt’s Christian minorities


For Pope Francis, ecumenical zeal is more his quest than a real concern for solutions to the rise of jihad. However, the Vatican’s ecumenism comes at the expense of Egypt’s human rights.

Ashraf Ramelah, 21/07/16

Ashraf Ramelah, founder and president of Voice of the Copts, source of information regarding persecuted Christians of Egypt.

Pope Francis, who is “building bridges to build peace” around the world, has naturally reached out to embrace Sunni Muslims. Last month, for the first time after years of Vatican silence, Pope Francis summoned to his private library in Rome grand imam Ahmed El-Tayeb of Cairo’s Al-Ahzar Mosque Institute. In a press release before this event, the Pope was quoted as saying, “this meeting is the message” – leading all to dwell on the meaning and purpose of their 25 minutes together.

Christians, especially Egyptian Coptic Christians, have observed the Catholic pope give the “sign of peace” to the grand imam who has yet been unwilling to denounce ISIS. Unity existed between the two religious branches previous to former Pope Benedict XVI condemning Islam’s inclination to violence. This message of reconciliation comes during the Al-Sisi government which has stood opposed to the favored and protected status of an organization entwined with Al-Ahzar — the Muslim Brotherhood – and against the ascendency of this terror network and others beginning before his presidential campaign.

Two days before their historic meeting, headlines around the world reported the violent and humiliating act committed by a Muslim mob in Upper Egypt against a Christian woman in a Christian-majority village. Homes were razed and a grandmother was stripped naked, dragged from her house and beaten in the street. Egypt’s courts are not officially Sharia but street justice involving private matters is strictly Islamic doctrine (coercion of non-Muslims), and violence has no real consequences in the courts.

No words came from either of the leaders in the “Jubilee of Mercy” meeting (its official title) to address this incident, which by the nature of this attack holds deeper, more serious implications in Egyptian culture. An elderly woman in Egypt is considered sacrosanct, and practically speaking, this means across sectarian lines she is universally respected for her tenderness and kindheartedness toward others. Even codified barbarity had had this limit – until now.

Evidence of Al-Sisi’s attempt at reform of Islamic doctrine met by Al-Ahzar reluctance is seen recently in the Institute’s insignificant changes to public school textbooks and mosque preaching. Presently, President Al-Sisi is stifled in his efforts to expunge religious supremacy from Egypt without cooperation from Al-Ahzar and apparently even with its assistance. As these particulars are the cultural foundation used for oppressing Christians, it is now hopeful that Francis will focus on such issues. Although Francis has not been terribly outspoken on Coptic Church destruction, he has grieved with the Orthodox of Egypt and offered his prayers over the spilled blood of Christians in Libya recognizing the Coptic Christian martyrs.

Solidarity (a hug and kisses) shown in this re-connection of Cairo’s Sunni grand imam with the Catholic Pope followed by silence (no official statements) helps to bolster and propel the po‎sition of the Institute’s goals for Egypt, which are far from optimal in the cause for freedom of religion and speech and the subject of human rights.

It is not likely that Francis will meet with President Al-Sisi, if he hasn’t first already done so, even though by contrast Al-Sisi projects real hope for Egypt’s future in his committed struggle for freedom and equality. This we see in regard to Egypt’s deep state (the tentacles of Al-Ahzar religious brainwashing), from which Al-Sisi seeks to disentangle and de-program out of the administrations of the state. He rose to office on that claim and until now has produced evidence of genuineness along with impossible odds. It is logical to assume by Francis’ exclusion of Al-Sisi and, for that matter, Coptic Pope Tawadros II, who represents 20 million Christians, that building bridges was not foremost on the mind of Pope Francis. The absence of these key figures in the room does in itself shed light onto the meaning of the meeting; in effect, by this oversight, Francis acknowledges it.

For Pope Francis, ecumenical zeal is more his quest than a real concern for solutions to the rise of jihad. However, the Vatican’s ecumenism comes at the expense of Egypt’s human rights. This encounter may symbolize for many an affirmation of peace attained through submission. After all, Francis now reached out to El-Tayeb in an apologetic mode for the public “insult” in denouncing Islam’s violence some years back. But Francis intends his appeasement to speak for the entire Christian world.

Last year, remarking upon the slaughter of 21 Coptic Christians by Sunni Muslim jihadists in Libya, Francis told leaders of the Church of Scotland that, “I ask that we encourage each other to go forward with this ecumenism which is giving us strength, the ecumenism of blood.” In that emotional moment Francis capitalized on martyrdom to bind together Christian protestant denominations under the Roman Catholic umbrella which in turn extends a hand to Islam. The pope’s ecumenical fanaticism is blurring the lines of theological differences for the sake of one spiritual conglomerate without much thought to religious minorities preferring to remain divided from certain doctrine and the indoctrinators linked to the throat-slashers of Libya.

In the end, we are left with questions and speculation of what to expect in the aftermath of this meeting. Will the world see less vengeful oppo‎sition to the Roman pope’s 12th century crusade? Will we see a new edict declaring that jihad is inappropriate for today’s civilized world or Al-Ahzar denounce ISIS? Will we see a public statement by the two heads condemning the use of religion to commit violence? And finally, might all this potential good we await be based on a designation called “heavenly,” which the pope may have bestowed upon the Sunni sect during this meeting?

For many decades, Cairo’s Muslim authorities have sought this label to prove religious equality with the faiths of Christianity and Judaism and have looked to the Roman Catholic pope for this ultimate seal of approval.

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One comment on “Vatican ecumenism forsakes Egypt’s Christian minorities

  1. [More about FrankenPope’s ecumenical schmoozer]

    Pope Francis Ally: muslims who become Christian should be killed

    July 21, 2016
    Posted by Tantumblogo

    Via Mahound, the kind of interreligious dialogue that muslims appreciate – conversion for Christians to islam is just peachy, but muslims who convert to Christianity must be killed [Tantumblogo’s comments in brackets]:

    Two months ago, Pope Francis welcomed Sheik Ahmed el-Tayeb, – the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar University in Cairo, and the highest scholarly authority in Sunni Islam – to the Vatican.

    And a week ago, the Pope sent a representative to Al-Azhar as a follow-up and to “relaunch dialogue.”

    The original meeting, which included discussions between larger delegations from Al-Azhar and the Vatican, was characterized as extremely friendly – a sort of “re-set” of Catholic-Muslim relations after the iciness allegedly set off by Pope Benedict’s Regensburg remarks in 2006…….

    ……..The Pope gave Sheik el-Tayeb a number of gifts including a copy of Laudato si. [Oh I’m sure Tayeb read that with bated breath. Cover to cover in a night, for sure. In reality, it probably went in the fire]

    Then they spontaneously embraced.


    However, as the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies recently pointed out (as highlighted by Raymond Ibrahim in a recent essay), el-Tayeb has a history of saying one thing to Western audiences and another to Arabic or Muslim ones. [No, really?!?]

    For example, during this past Ramadan, el-Tayeb reaffirmed on his television show that Islam mandates death for apostates:

    Contemporary apostasy presents itself in the guise of crimes, assaults, and grand treason, so we deal with it now as a crime that must be opposed and punished…. Those learned in Islam [al-fuqaha] and the imams of the four schools of jurisprudence consider apostasy a crime and agree that the apostate must either renounce his apostasy or else be killed.

    The plucky Institute made a public statement calling on him to renounce this position, also making the general observation that
    Al Azhar adopts two contradictory speeches: one is open and directed externally, while the other supports violent extremism, and is directed internally. [It’s called taqqiyah, or “holy lying,” and is sanctioned by the Koran. Basically any immoral behavior is sanctioned, provided it is directed towards the house of war, or the infidel. That’s us. Muslims are actually called to lie to the infidel in order to weaken their resistance to islam and bring them into the ummah, or islamic world. That can be achieved by relatively peaceful means, but since that rarely happens, it is usually down to war and violent repression.]
    Interestingly, it appears that the statement was not released in English or referenced on the English version of the site.
    What are we to make of this? [Taqqiyah]

    Is Pope Francis aware that his new Muslim friend appears to believe that apostates from Islam should be killed? How does this comport with the “protection” of Christians in the region? Or perhaps the Pope, in his rejection of “proselytism,” does not believe that Christian converts are worthy of protection, or should not be placed in the category of “Christians.” Maybe it’s more of an ethnic category.
    Also, converts do tend to be a bit conservative, after all. [Heh. Great point]
    Actually, I suspect the Pope has no idea what el-Tayeb really believes or more to the point, doesn’t really care. But he does seem to care very much about publicizing how dialogue with his quasi-peer distinguishes him from his predecessor……[It’s all about the agenda, which has little to do with islam, and everything to do with internal Church politics, remaking the Church according to Francis’ vision]
    …..In fairness to el-Tayeb, as the highest Sunni Muslim scholarly authority in the world it would be difficult if not impossible for him to declare to a Muslim audience that apostates shouldn’t be put to death, as this is clearly stated in the Koran, the Hadith and Islamic history and tradition. [In other words, it’s a hardcore islamic doctrine and not subject to reform without encountering immense resistance. Thus, the taqqiyah] In that context, advocating the death penalty for apostates is not an unusual or extreme position at all. Indeed, polls show that most Muslims in Egypt support it. Though, again, there is a tradition of not, as it were, making a big deal of this to Western audiences………
    ……..The problem with Islam is not that all Muslims are evil. It’s that all Muslims are to one degree or another beholden to an evil ideology. Many Muslims (including most women) are enslaved to it.

    So, why don’t they just leave?

    See above.

    Who speaks for them?

    Not Pope Francis, obviously.

    Sorry to say, but that much is certainly true. Francis’ defense of persecuted Christians has appeared disinterested and pro forma, to say the least. But someone should remind him it is his solemn duty as the Vicar of Christ to speak for and defend all Christians, including non-Catholics, and even those wicked, nasty conservative ones.

    How could any reasonable Christian-muslim dialogue occur on anything like an even or rational basis, when one of the religions in question preaches death to the infidel and those who convert from it? That is to say, what kind of dialogue could occur, other than one based on Christian surrender? Is that not what many perceive this dialogue to be – the Church surrendering to islam for the sake of sexular pagan plaudits, or at least to serve a worldly ideology?

    And to think this is the same Church as St. Pius V, Saint Fernando III, or Urban II. Or…..???

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