8. AWR Daily Overview, April 22, 2012: Bishop Pachomius pressed to run for pope

Article summary: 

Pressures are being practiced to convince acting patriarch Bishop Pachomius to quit his current interim position to officially run in the elections to select a new pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church in succession of deceased Pope Shenouda III. ['Abd al-Wahāb, al-Wafd, April 22, p. 1] Read original text in Arabic

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Some bishops are now trying to convince Pachomius, who exerted tremendous efforts during a short period of time he ran the church affairs after the death of Pope Shenouda, to run for the papal chair as called by a group of Coptic laymen and clerics, according to a church source who did not want his name mentioned. ['Abd al-Wahāb, al-Wafd, April 22, p. 1] Read original text in Arabic

Bishop Pachomius met with Coptic rights activists Najīb Jibrā'īl, Mamdūh Nakhlah and Mamdūh Ramzī to discuss Coptic problems and laymen's cooperation with the church as well as the latter's vision of an Egyptian constitution and the constituent assembly. [Muhammad Hijāb, al-Ahrām, April 22, p. 6] Read original text in Arabic

The acting patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church has mandated the bishop of parishes to take whatever decisions they see fit on Orthodox Christians returning from their Easter pilgrimage in Jerusalem.

The most likely punishment for Copts who violated Pope Shenouda's decision to ban visits to Jerusalem under Israeli occupation will be deprived from Holy Communion, one of the seven sacraments in the Coptic Orthodox Church. [Husnī Mīlād, al-Akhbār, April 22, p. 3] Read original text in Arabic

Activities of the 2nd Arab-European dialogue meeting, organized by the Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Services (CEOSS) intercultural dialogue forum, will start on Monday (April 23), to be attended by representatives of 17 Arab and European countries.

"The three-day conference will discuss parliamentary elections, indicators for democracy, political parties and their religious orientations, civil values in view of the religious state and the role of the civil society in the democratization process," Andrea Zakī, deputy head of the Coptic Evangelical Church. ['Abd al-Majīd al-Shawādfī, al-Ahrām, April 22, p. 20] Read original text in Arabic

Meanwhile, the Iftā' House expressed rejection against impertinence towards Muftī of the Republic Dr. 'Alī Jum'ah over his recent visit to al-Quds (Jerusalem) and his prayers at the al-Aqsá Mosque.

"The Muftī, who attended an emergency meeting of the Azhar's Islamic Research Academy, the highest Islamic authority in Egypt, said he did not commit a sin or violated the Muslim faith by visiting the Aqsá Mosque," the Iftā' House said in a statement on Friday. [Khālid Ahmad al-Mat'anī, al-Ahrām, April 22, p. 6] Read original text in Arabic

Field Marshal Muhammad Husayn Tantāwī, Chairman of the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), said that the army does not back a certain candidate for the presidency, pledging to "sail the nation through to safety, hand over power to an elected civil president and support drafting a constitution that is satisfactory to all parties".

"Days and history will reveal the efforts exerted by the armed forces in this current stage the nation is going through. Egypt will be for all Egyptians in accordance with the people's will," said Field Marshal Tantāwī on the sidelines of a tactical maneuver codenamed Badr 2 at the headquarters of the 3rd Field Army in Suez. [Dālyā 'Uthmān, al-Misrī al-Yawm, April 22, p. 1] Read original text in Arabic

The funeral of 'Azzah Tawfīq 'Abd al-Fattāh, the wife of Lt. General Ahmad Shafīq, a former prime minister and presidential candidate, has started from al-Thawrah Mosque on Saturday (April 21), attended by a host of military officials. [Hāzim Abū Dūmah, al-Ahrām, April 22, p. 4] Read original text in Arabic

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