In a recent telephone conversation with the talk show Huna al-Asema (This is the Capital) on satellite TV, Pope Tawadros II expounded on the various laws needed by the Copts and awaiting legislation by the upcoming parliament. Major among them was a law for building churches a draft of which, the Pope said, had been fully agreed upon by the major Christian sects in Egypt and handed to the government. Such a law, when passed, he said, stands to reduce sectarian problems to at least half their current volume.
The second law is the Family law for Christians. Pope Tawadros said the draft law had also been approved by all the Christian sects in Egypt and handed to the Egyptian government more than 35 years ago, but never saw light. It is now being reviewed and revised to be passed by the new Parliament.
The Pope said that the current family law used by Egyptian courts in case of Christians, notoriously known as the 1938 Bylaws, had been set up by a laymen committee and included gross violations of explicit Bible teachings. The only authority qualified for legislating laws in the Church, he said, is the Holy Synod.
The Pope said that the Church was taking measures to speed and simplify the resolution of family problems, major among which is divorce and marriage annulment, by opening six new venues to see such cases. There has so far been only one venue, in Cairo, authorised to see family cases. This led to a pile-up of cases that rendered their resolution a very lengthy process. The new venues, he said, should ease matters up.
25 October 2014