Al-Bāz reflects on the developments in the relations between Pope Shenouda and some of his loyal men.
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Al-Bāz states in this article that Pope Shenouda’s control over some of his men is diminishing, and mentions some of the men’s names and their disagreements with the Pope. After the fierce fight between some of the Church’s men and Dr. Zaydān concerning the publication of his novel, ‘Azāzīl, and the reputation of that novel, the Pope ordered his men not to respond to Zaydān anymore. This has changed the response to the publication of Zaydān’s next novel, ‘Al-Lāhūt al-‘Arabī’ [Arabic Theology], which has not obtained any reputation due to the Church’s silent response. Zaydān’s articles about his new novel caused some anger within the Church, who began to litigate Zaydān and forgot the Pope’s order. Another example is the situation of Mamdūh Nakhlah regarding the admission of Copts to the Azhar University, in which he believes that Copts have the right to join this University, the same as Muslims. Al-Bāz believes Nakhlah’s situation to be a rebellion against the Pope’s view that prefers the University to be for Muslims only. Nakhlah is also against the Pope with regard to the issue of nominating himself for the presidencial elections.
His stringent attitude towards many of the officials in Egypt is supposed to be the reason behind the exile of Father Marqus ‘Azīz to America by Church leadership. His attitude in exile confirms his harshness and stresses the fact that he is not supposed to come back to Egypt, especially after the launching of his satellite channel which focuses on the incidents against Copts in Egypt. These examples illustrate a change in relation between the Pope and some of his men, who used to confirm their loyalty to the Pope. However, they declare that they are not against the Pope, but rather they abide by the Pope’s view, but through different roles inside the Church.