AFRICA/EGYPT - Patriarch Tawadros II: the Bishops do not express support for candidates or political parties in elections

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Cairo (Agenzia Fides) - The date of the next general elections in Egypt has not yet been set. In all probability, the Egyptians will not go to the polls before next October, but already meetings and contacts to define lists and candidates who will participate in a decisive election date to delineate the political future of Egypt have started. In this context, the Coptic Orthodox Patriarch Tawadros II, has already warned the Bishops of the Coptic Orthodox Church to refrain from any direct involvement in the election campaign in support of political parties or individual candidates. The Patriarch also made reference to the canonical measures applicable to members of the clergy who are involved directly in political activity, urging Bishops not to participate in individual meetings with candidates.
"This line", says Anba Antonios Aziz Mina, Coptic Catholic Bishop of Guizeh, "is the same as that for the presidential election: Churches encourage to participate in the vote, but do not influence the choice of the faithful on which political party and candidates to vote for". The parties that will participate in the next elections is still underway. Muslim Brotherhood has been precluded the opportunity to submit its own list. But sectors of the population linked to the Muslim Brotherhood could support the al-Nur party. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 16/07/2014)