Papal secretary Father Makary al-Qommos Tadros last evening posted on his Facebook page what he claimed to be ten reasons that led the standing committee of the Holy Synod, over which Pope Tawadros presided, to take the decision to close churches in Egypt till 31 March or until further notice. The decision was announced yesterday 21 March 2020.
The post was written in the first person, which led many to believe that the words belonged to Pope Tawadros. It read:
“My beloved, the closure of churches in Egypt has pained exceedingly, but here are ten reasons that rendered it a wise move:
The Church has to possess the courage to take a decision that would act to protect the congregation against a grave risk.
Do not underrate the role of the clergy in their capacity as fathers responsible for protecting their children, a responsibility they will answer for before God, the homeland, and the people.
Had churches been closed by government order, the congregation would have been pained at being forced to sustain a closure officially imposed on them.
Had anyone caught Coronavirus in church, the congregation would have been angry at the Church [for failing to take measures to prevent it].
If, God forbid, an uncontrollable spread of COVID-19 occurs in Egypt [with the Church failing to take stringent cautionary measures while all other institutions did], Egyptians including officials, doctors, and the media would blame the Church for it.
Churches were closed numerous times in Egypt’s history. They will reopen soon, with God’s will.
Many saints and hermits live without Communion for months.
The Eucharist is celebrated by the monks on the altars of monasteries in Egypt on behalf of the whole world.
Let our homes become churches. The good Lord awaits that because this, as opposed to controversy on social media, is the real test to our love for God.
We have non-Christian brothers and sisters in our homeland, and there needs to be equality among them in all measures taken. We should allow no blame to be directed at the Church. It would be unwise and would serve agendas working against the Church.
“Let us pray for the salvation of the world.”
22 March 2020