• 20:48
  • Wednesday ,13 January 2016

Goodbye denominational Coptic councils

By Ashraf Helmy

Article Of The Day


Wednesday ,13 January 2016

Goodbye denominational Coptic councils
Many Copts criticize church leaders through many websites and media, especially when it comes to financial and administrative affairs.
They have the right to criticize for the sake of reform, not to distort the reputation of others. Those people couldn’t reach Pope Tawadros and their voices were not heard since secretaries of the Pope don’t deliver such messages to the Pope or they underestimate problems of the people.
I believe that what increased the problem is the disregard of denominational Coptic councils that were entitled to solve such problems. They were penetrated by the clergy and followed their desires for personal benefits. 
I remember the answer of the late Pope Shenouda III in response to a question about the conflict between Copts in the Diaspora and the Egyptian government. He said that they enjoy freedom in the West and their demands and voices were just ignored by the government. They had to raise their voice to make sure they are heard.
After the revolution of June 30, the Egyptian people demanded the separation of religion from politics. They wanted clergy to stay away from politics and attacked whoever gets himself involved in politics.
The Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church issued the regulations to choose new priests and deacons in 2013. Such regulation was just ignored like many other laws in Egypt. Choosing new priest as well as members of the denominational councils came according to the preference of bishops and priests. This indeed raised the anger of many Coptic people.
The denominational councils were invented by Boutros Pasha Ghali in 1874. It consists of twenty-four members elected by the people and headed by the Pope. However, the world has changed, and the Copts have traveled everywhere. Therefore, the regulation of the denominational councils should be amended. Secondary denominational councils should be formed. This is the way to solve many problems of the Coptic people and will enable the clergy to do their job away from financial matters that affect their spiritual authorities badly.