AFRICA/EGYPT - Morsi condemned to death. Coptic Catholic Bishop: "the Church never justifies death penalty for anyone"

Monday, 18 May 2015

Assiut (Agenzia Fides) - The death sentence of former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi is arousing strong reactions in Egypt and other Countries, starting from Turkey. The Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist organization, is leading protests and threatening retaliation for the judgment which they consider unfair.
"The reaction of the Islamists - refers to Agenzia Fides Anba Kyrillos William, Coptic Catholic Bishop of Assiut - has already taken violent connotations. While the population seems to support the judgment. The people have not forgotten the suffering endured when Morsi was President. Now we have to wait for the verdict of the Grand Mufti of Al-Azhar, that on 2 June will either confirm the sentence or ask the sentence to be changed in other less severe punishments such as life imprisonment". The death penalty imposed on Morsi also questions the conscience of Egyptian Christians: "The Church – says to Fides Coptic Catholic Bishop of Assiut - respects the independence of the judiciary, but believes that life is an inviolable right, and remains opposed to the death penalty. The fact is that this type of sentence is still contemplated in the Egyptian legal order".
In this regard, Anba Kyrillos reported an emblematic episode to Agenzia Fides. "I remember when former President Hosni Mubarak was sentenced to life imprisonment, the Muslim Brotherhood, then in power, demanded a new trial so that he would be sentenced to death.
According to a Minister’s wife, Mubarak had to pay with his life the serious things he had committed. On that occasion - concludes Anba Kyrillos - I could reach out and touch the difference between the Christian approach, which includes the criteria of mercy and compassion, and a mindset that I would call 'Old Testament', where there is only the logic of an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth". (GV) (Agenzia Fides 18/05/2015)