(This column may be found on Examiner.com.)
Patriarch Shenouda, the person who has run the Coptic Orthodox Church for decades, is a well intentioned man who has hurt immeasurably his community.
Because of this, he should take the unprecedented step of resigning. By doing so, he will enable fewer murders of the people he most cherishes.
To be clear, then, what I am saying is that the Coptic Orthodox Pope enables evil and therefore ultimately disqualifies himself from his position.
How, you ask? Such an argument drips with subversion and disrespect—all to a community that values almost above all else its religious hierarchy, the venerated men in black cloaks. As it happens, this particular Copt knows well they are merely human and therefore sometimes exercise exceptionally poor judgment.
Here, in short, is why Copts would be better off without Patriarch Shenouda:
That’s a video of him welcoming the Egyptian military into the main Coptic Cathedral to celebrate the Nativity Liturgy (Copts celebrate Christmas 7 January).
Even more interestingly, the Pope also, apparently, extended invitations to both the Muslim Brotherhood as well as to the Salafist Party (also known as the Nour Party).
For those who don’t follow this column regularly or who don’t keep up with Egyptian politics, those are precisely the people who go out of their way to abduct, rape, shoot, stab, set fire to and explode Copts.
They are the ones responsible for last week’s fires, the Imbaba Incident, the church bombing that rocked Alexandria (the Salafist stronghold) on New Year’s Eve just last year and much, much more. They’re the ones who shout out with unabashed glee, “Allah Wih Akbar!” each time an innocent Copt’s life is ended violently.
And let’s not forget Maspero.
The Maspero Massacre, for which SCAF, the nation’s military, was responsible, ended with the videotaped, cold-blooded murders of two dozen peaceful, crucifix-carrying Copts along the streets of Cairo.
No matter, of course; Coptic blood is cheap to these people—which brings me back to my original point.
The head of the Coptic Church, its shepherd-in-chief, is supposed to take protective, aggressive measures for his community. He is not supposed to welcome with much fanfare the very people who conspire to commit a genocide against them.
That Patriarch Shenouda either cannot recognize who his people’s enemies are, or can, but refuses to treat them as such, indicates a lack of moral clarity that is so serious it requires him to take the unprecedented measure of resigning his post. He cannot be trusted to lead his people through the most tumultuous, violent period they have faced in centuries. The longer he remains head of the Coptic Church, the longer he will send a message that Copts aren’t worthy of their most basic human rights.
What the embattled Copts need is a leader who understands that appeasement never (EVER!) works–look only to Adolf Hitler–and who will work tirelessly to make clear that Copts will fight against to the end—not welcome—those out to slaughter them en masse.
Pity. The last thing we need is weakness within when there are so many enemies waiting outside.