edited December 1969 in Introductions
In the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit - Greetings!

Hello, all. I hope I have posted this correctly. I read the posting help and reckon that posting a new topic is the way to introduce myself.

I have always been interested in the Coptic Church. Having studied Russian in school I am much more familiar with the Russian and Greek churches. I am a cradle Catholic who went Protestant (evengelical/fundamentalist) for 20 years and have been back in my home church now for about 10 years.

I registered with you website neither to convert anyone or to be converted. I did so because I simpy consider it interesting, and although we would not agree on all doctrinal issues, I am interested in all Christian faiths. Not so much in the Protestant  because I've been there done that.

So I hope you don't mind me being here. I have been reading some of the faith issues and found some very interesting things, such as monophysite vs. duophysite - I am ashamed to say that I never knew that this doctrinal issue existed. Now I know.

I am simply more interested in Christians working together, not trying to become one church necessarily, not trying to change every doctrinal issue, but taking what we believe in common, that Christ is the Way, Truth and Life. I am on a Catholic website and find it very disturbing that Protestants have jumped on just to argue (a debate I don't mind, incessant and non-conclusive arguing I do) when they could be using that energy to spread the Gospel. I refuse to fight over doctrinal issues unless they are very, very serious because I want to use my energy in a more positive way.

Btw, I'm 50, female, married and living in the UK right now but am American. I am studying to be a teacher and will hopefully be teaching before long. I guess it will show up in the post, but just in case, my user name is byrdele.

Thank you. I hope to have dialogue with you and am looking forward to it eagerly. Just dialogue, I promise, and maybe questions on where we differ but NEVER EVER confrontations or arguing. I respect Copts and the Coptic Orthodox Church very much. I have heard that sometimes in the Middle East and North Africa it is not easy to follow you faith - that others have made it hard for you, but still you persevere and stand as a witness in doing so to the grace of God.



  • Dear byrdele,

    It is good to have you here - and thank you for being so frank - and for the spirit in which you write.

    As you are in the UK at the moment, you might want to follow up your interest in finding out more about Oriental Orthodoxy at this site which is run by the British Orthodox Church, which is part of the Coptic Church. It has much good information about our beliefs, history and our ethos; I think, given your own very interesting background, that you may find it has useful information which will help answer some of your questions.

    It is refreshing, and a very good thing, that you don't want to argue about doctrinal matters; it never does much good in my fairly long experience. I respect what other Christians believe - but happen to believe that where I am not is the best of the many spiritual hospitals; but I have an immense respect and affection for the Catholic Church, not least for this Pope and his great and blessed predecessor, John Paul II, who was one of the great Christian figures of this, or any other age.

    We are blessed in the Coptic Church with a great spiritual leader in Pope Shenouda III, and I hope that if you become familiar with his writings, you will discover much of value in them, even as some of us have found the same in the writings of Pope Benedict XVI.

    It is good to have your voice here.

    In Christ,

  • Thanks for the warm welcome. I have already learnt so much in some other threads. It does not bother me that you consider your church to be the fullness of Christ and the Catholics as the schismatics, because we believe the same. In fact, the Calvinists believe the same, the Baptists believe the same.... :) I have never understood the emnity which develops when someone believes that because if it is not meant offensively, then why get upset? Pope Benedicts is loosening up conditions for the Tridentine Mass (Latin, before Vatican II) to be said more liberally for those who wish it. It is simply a different rite, it is really not different that much from the modern mass, Novus Ordo. Already people are upset because in the Tidentine it calls for prayer for the conversion of Jews. It is meant in love, not in a superior manner. The prayer is there because we recognise that Christianity developed out of Judaism and the first Christians were Jews and Jesus never left behind his Judaism, but simply called people on the carpet who had mishandled it and made it so difficult for the people to follow (mainly, as we all know, Pharisees) and so we owe them a debt of gratitude. But people are up in arms. It doesn't bother me to know that a Muslim friend might pray for my reversion to Islam. I consider it an act of love.

    Thus, didn't mean to be so long winded, it doesn't upset me if people view Catholicism as not the complete truth or even containing, as one person said, some heresies. I think the same of other religions and pray for them, but out of love.

    So it's good to be here!



    I am actualy studying to be a Doctor, with God's will... I will be getting a Bio degree in couple of yrs... and I am planing to be a Bio teacher while I study to get my PhD.
    Who... knows.... i might come to Uk to teach Bio :P :P :P

    Pray for me,
  • [glow=red,2,300][move]WELCOME!!!!!!!!!!!![/move][/glow]
  • Dear byrdele,

    Your attitude is wonderfully refreshing - and just the thing to show that ancient division should be no bar to fellowship and friendship; only through that door can He enter into all our hearts here.

    The following document from your Church is a good summary of what I guess we all believe about our own Church:
    If we can all proceed in that spirit, we witness to Him who saves us all.

    The Roman Catholic Church, because of its global reach, probably bears witness to the Risen Lord in more places than any other group of Christians, and whilst some of us think there have been unnecessary additions to the full deposit of the Faith, and that there may be a deficient understanding of the idea of salvation, it would be very hard not to admire what the Catholic Church does in Christ's name in parts of the world where no one else does it. It would also be niggardly not to admire the greatness of Pope John Paul II, who surely will be a saint before long; Pope Benedict XVI is also a very great Christian leader. Indeed, your Church, like the Coptic Church, is blessed with a leadership of immense spiritual and intellectual stature.

    I would prefer to say that our ways have been divided these many years, and that the ecclesiological differences will remain great ones; but also that where the Spirit works, we should never despair. If our Churches can (and they do) converse as you do here with us, then we can permit ourselves to hope. Only through discussion can understanding come and differences be recognised - and only through Him can they be resolved.

    It is good to have you here.

    And the idea of our friend bentBABAyasooa` joining use here in the UK is just great :)

    In Christ,


  • I've received nothing but kind words from people on this website. Thanks you so much. And thank you for your openness to me being here.

    I guess it is natural for me to want to reach out to people of other denominations. I am a linguist. I studied Russian and German and am fascinated by anyone who or anything which is different from me. I also love to see Christians working together.

    You're right, ancient barriers and grudges should not hold us back from fellowship. I know that the Catholics have done some wicked things in the past, but those people are dead now. Also, not everyone who has called himself a Catholic (and this is still the case) during  the Middle Ages and Rennaissance was a Christian, just like in every denomination. Back during the Crusades, you were Catholic whether you wanted to be or not. You just were, inasmuch as you were a Celt or Roman. I think this might explain some of the very horrible things done in the name of God. I think most Christian denominations and most religions have done the same to someone in their past. But it's over. That is why Pope JP II had an apology Mass. Because if you're Christian, you still feel sorrow over what your ancestors might have done but strive not to do it yourself. I can list places where
    Catholics are being persecuted both by government authorities who are of Christian denominations and non-Christian religions. But that does not mean I turn against people of that faith who have absolutely nothing to do with it.

    I have always felt that way, but am still glad that Pope JP II had the forgiveness Mass. It won't change history, but it expresses the Church as it is today - one which seeks to heal and to bring peace and God's Word to the nations, the same as what your Church is doing. We are all in this together now.

    God bless, and thanks again for your kindnesses!


  • Dear byrdele,

    Thank you for these words of wisdom.

    One of the many remarkable things about the Copts is that for sixteen centuries they have been under persecution of one kind or another; the Church is one of the few not to have been guilty of persecution itself during that long period. It helps account, in my humble opinion, for its remarkable spirituality and the warmth with which it receives those Christians outside its bounds. As one who has converted into the Coptic Orthodox Church, all I can say is that I have found within it nothing but the spirit of love Our Lord commended us to have each for the other.

    Persecuted, like Our Lord Himself, His Church in Egypt and elsewhere in the cradle of the Faith has borne its sufferings as a witness to Him. It puts into perspective those who feel that a few years of persecution justified blowing other people up - just as the Coptic witness shows the wisdom of the Christian way.

    I hope, and trust, that you will continue to find, as I have, that here, as in all the Coptic Church, there is a real Christian welcome.

    In Christ,

  • Yes, I am aware that the Coptic Church has taken almost a constant beating and am not surprised that it is not guilty of persecution. When you're being persecuted, you're going to gain insight that others do not.

    I have read about the problems the church has in some mainly Muslim societies. I say "some" because not all Muslims are like that. Iran respects the "people of the  book", Christians and Jews (as long as they are not into Zionism). I have read that alcohol is ok if kept in the home. Alcohol is deemed ok by govt authorities in religious worship. It's ironic, right now Iran and the west are quite at odds, especially the US and Iran, and I'm not going to express an opinion on that, but sometimes if someone is going on and on about the intolerance there, etc., I point out the tolerance toward the people of the book. People are shocked. I am not saying I'd want to live there and the young people and women are really getting restless there, but we're buddies with countries which show NO tolerance with other religions, and yet Iran is more sympathetic toward other religions.

    Anyway, a bit off the track there. I can see the results of being a persecuted faith in the people on this site. Persecution does produce certain fruits that non-persecution will not. I respect the Coptic Church for that. I do pray for all Christians who are persecuted for their faith in my daily prayers and I will especially remember the Coptic Church.

    God bless.

  • [quote author=byrdele link=topic=5487.msg73413#msg73413 date=1182930980]
    Iran respects the "people of the  book", Christians and Jews (as long as they are not into Zionism).

    I think Iran must be the only place in the Muslim world where Christians and Jews live in relative freedom, but Sunni Muslims are treated like dogs.
  • Truly the Interdenominational war in Islam, shows how much politics and religion are quite an intoxicating mix. I think it is quite analogous to the Protestant vs Catholic struggle in United Kingdom. As I understand it, it started with King Henry (who just wanted to get a divorce) and was continued with King George (who was a real protestant). It had a period of Catholic order, when the Queen after King George realigned UKs allegiance to the Roman pontiff, but again the state turned protestant by the Queen after. A lot of beheading, and Catholic's being outlawed retaliating (I believe rightly so) and vice versa.

    Anyway, welcome Byrdele!

    I think you will find that as much as we call you schismatics, and we might dangerously tread in cynicism about some doctrinal issues, it is my general experience that the Coptic Church find the Roman Catholic Church (we'll I can only speak for the diaspora in Australia) as a great Church. We have such great respect for your pontiff. Even Cardinal Pell (in Sydney) gave talks to our Youth.

    I guess lots of our respect (and to be honest our dismay) comes from many of us going through Catholic Schools. I say dismay, because I think a certain liberal underpinning of understanding the Bible etc. is being perceived- such as the "New Theology"; understanding Genesis etc.

    However, we do tend to shrink away when there is talks about some atrocities that come under Western Christianity (and is usually implicated to Roman Catholicism). I do not understand the whole history of this, but I believe politics again plays a huge role. We admire that in face of persecution and the threats from Protestants, the Catholic Church has kept many traditions and have kept their congregation admidst the anti-Catholic attitude by some Protestants (which wouldn't be Protestant otherwise!).
  • Hi Doubting Thomas!

    I'm glad you feel the way you do. I'm glad relations are so good between our two churches.

    I can offer an explanation and opinion over what you experienced in the Catholic schools.

    For starters, please everyone, don't misunderstand this msg. I am not promoting the papacy or Catholic doctrine out of respect that this is a Coptic site and I realise that especially the papacy is a problem between us and I promised I would not do that in general. This is just an opinion over what Doubting Thomas experienced.

    Lots of good, Godly ideas came out of Vatican II and lots of very liberal, experimental and bad ideas did too. The liberals reigned for a while until Pope JP II. But there are still a lot of them out there and Pope B is talking about how a culling might be good for the Church and if people don't like it, then he hopes they will think it out and conform but if not, they should leave and stop muddying the waters for the rest of us. I think he might do it - he's already made statements which have sent the liberal Catholics crazy (one such statement was that Catholic politicians who openly support abortion cannot receive the Eucharist). He is an extreme hardliner who I think might be able to cull.

    With the Coptic Church in constant persecution of one degree or another, culling has already taken place and is taking place. When you are persecuted, you really have to decide that you will stand by the truth no matter what. I am sure there are Copts who are not as devout as you all on this site - I had a Coptic doctor who did not go to church because it was a long drive (nice guy, wrong choice I believe) - he is Egyptian who has emmigrated to the US. But I'd be willing to bet that there are less "cafeteria Copts" than there are what we call "cafeteria Catholics". In Pakistan, they probably adhere strictly to doctrine because they are persecuted horribly and there is the same going on in other pockets of the world, but only pockets.  But other than a snide comment, wrong ideas about what we believe, most of us have not experienced real persecution. It's easy to get lax. So you'll find such liberalism in the Catholic Church a lot more than maybe in your own Church. Coptics have been forced by horrible circumstances to stand by their beliefs. I pray that the persecution will stop. But persecution really does refine the believer.   

    Anyway, that might explain some of what you experienced. But I am really glad that relations are so good in Australia. And thanks for all you said about your respect toward Catholics for standing by the faith when under persecution in the past.

    God bless.


  • Dear byrdele, dear Thomas,

    An excellent and inspiring exchange of views; may we all do likewise.

    if I can just correct a little history here (being an historian it is an occupation hazard), we often read that the Church of England was created because Henry VIII wanted a divorce. Well, that was certainly the occasion for the split with Rome, but the ideas of Luther and the Continental Reformers helped things, and provided men who were willing to make the break permanent. His so and successor, Edward VI was certainly a keen Protestant, and did much to make the split wider. His sister, and successor, Mary I was a devout Catholic, married to Philip II of Spain, and allowed persecution of the Protestants to bring England back to Rome. Upon her death, her sister and successor, Elizabeth I, steered a more Protestant course as regards the supremacy of Rome, but was, like her father, rather Catholic in her theology. That is why the Church of England ended up with a fairly Catholic theology and a Protestant structure.

    Although, thanks to its views on such things as female ordination, I am no longer a member of it, I have a great affection for the Anglican Church and for the work it does; but, alas, it has gone a way that is not the way of the Apostolic Church.

    In Christ,


  • Hello everyone.

    I know I made a comment on things that the RC Church has done in the past, said I was sorry but had a "let's move on" attitude.

    I wish to appologise if that is how I came across. I didn't mean to. Or did I?

    Caucasians in the US (even though right now I live in the UK) really do not have much to forgive. Some African-Americans still have a grudge against slavery. So do some American Indians about the genocide the white Americans used to bind them up onto reservations. Most whites wonder why they cannot forgive and move on.

    No one should forget, and most African Americans and Indians want to remember. Most do forgive, but for those who cannot, it is because their cultures within the US were radically changed and they are still feeling the consequences.

    I realise that this is the case in the Middle East, where the Crusades took place. I realise that also the Inquisition of the Catholic Church was a horrible thing and both did affect society as it is today.

    Pope John Paul said a forgiveness Mass for any past ills. I was recently in Ireland when I realised how calloused I might have sounded and felt.

    I bought a few Irish fisherman sweaters. They are knitted for each clan, for those who don't know, with different patterns so that when the fisherfolk were drowned at sea, their bodies could be identified with their clan. Every type of stitch means something. There is a rice stitch on one that I bought. This represents, according to the woman who actually knit it, "the time we starved". She is talking about the horrible Potato famine during which many Irish starved or left for the new world. Although the English did respond with aid, there was a hideous lack of coordination, communication and a belief that Ireland was overpopulated and this was God's way of culling the population. Also, there was plenty of food enough to have staved off the starvation and the attendant diseases - low immune systems which lead to death by colds, influenza, etc.

    I realised then that the ramifications are still there. Until recently, Ireland has been a poor country. The influx of European Union money is transforming it. Their Catholicism was banned until the mid-1800s. Their own language was banned. Of course, England is not alone in this. The US gave smallpox infected blankets once to a group of Indians, knowing that the pox was in the blankets. The Russian Orthodox Church has gone after its own people, the Old Believers, as well as Catholics, etc. The Calivinists wanted to kill a pacifist group called the Amish, who had hurt no one. Still, this does not make anything that the Catholic Church has done better. Yes, we can say that it was the times, but that condones nothing.

    I realise that the Coptic Church, having been a persecuted Church, is one of the few which can claim a lack of atrocities in its history.

    The late historian Beloc writes about the First Crusade (in his mind, the ONLY Crusade with the others being only exercises in debauchery, cruelty, murder, greed in which Muslims, Jews and Orthodox Christians were slaughtered. I said before that a person was Catholic inasmuch as he was French, but that did not make him a Christian. Still, the Church did not oppose the subsequent "crusades". How this could happen, along with the Inquisition, I do not profess to know. The pope who pushed the Inquisition the most was hated by Catholics and non-Catholics alike. His dead body was thrown into the Tiber and people rejoiced in the streets when he died. So we Catholics also were affected.

    Things can be hard to forgive. I personally have trouble forgiving whatever my Church did to hurt others. It doesn't matter to me that other religions did it, what matters to me is that MY Church did it. Although it does not shake my faith as a Catholic, it is troublesome to me and I will be discussing it with a priest. Today, in Church, when I thought about the rice stitch and then thought of the Catholic atrocities, I wanted to cry. I did cry. It seems that the older a culture is, the longer it remembers and the harder it is to forgive. We white Americans make up a young culture, so we do not really think about it. While our parents might've hated the Japanese and Germans up to the day they died (my dad forgave, however), people my age do not bear a grudge. We are young and I think that is why.

    Anyway, a long winded msg about how I am deeply, truly grieved if I gave anyone the impression that I did not think that past was important and if I did not realise how important it is and for whatever my Church has done. This is long winded because I just wanted to explain how the documentary, the rice stitch, the sometimes simmering anger that some of the American blacks and Indians might have... which leads me back to you, my Coptic friends.

    I do pray for your church in persecution. I pray for all Christians in persecution.

    If I can add this: this is a very interesting outcome of the Inquisition. When Spain decided to explore North America, many Jews pretended to convert to Christianity and then decided to sign up as conquistadors to get as far from Madrid as possible. When the Spanish pulled out, they stayed and made a life for themselves. They noticed that they had what seemed like odd traditions (lighting candles on Fridays, not eating pork) that were passed down in the family and they did not know the origin. It turns out that from worshipping in secret and then eventually forgetting why and becoming Christians, these were the ancestors of the secret Jews who stayed behind to escape the Inquisition. They tend to live in our western states. 
  • Dear byrdele,

    A moving post, but I would say that we should all acknowledge that in a fallen world we are all sinners; some simply get a bigger canvas on which to commit their sins, and few are immune from the temptation to persecution when the chance comes. Although it might be controversial to say so, look at the way in which the modern State of Israel treats the Palestinians (and lest anyone think I am making a political point, I would add, and look at the way that the Palestinian authorities treat Palestinian Christians). The historian Gibbon once called history a list of the crimes and follies of mankind; and there is, alas, much in that.

    This is why we need Christ's redeeming blood. By ourselves, even with the help of the Law and the Prophets, we could not rise from our sinful state; only through him can we do so.

    It is, of course, particularly dreadful when Churchmen commit follies and sins, and that is one reason why some of us have always been wary of Churchmen with secular authority - whether the Pope in Rome or the Patriarch and the Emperor at Constantinople, or the Tsar and the Patriarch in Moscow. One of the blessings contained in the many years of persecution which the Copts have endured, is that they have not had that problem. Of course, one would be less than sinful human if one did not occasionally recall that the Melkite Church which so persecuted the Copts had its own martyrdom under the Communists; but then fairness makes one acknowledge the marvellous witness of the New Russian Martyrs.

    Connected with the State, as an imperial Church, Christianity's record is not a good one, for His kingdom is not of this world. On the other hand, a state in non-Christian hands can often turn to persecuting Christians who will not conform to its worldly standards - so, in this world, I guess you can't win.

    In Christ,

  • Dear Anglian,

    I liked your response, thanks. I know it seems that no one can win, but in the end, those who perservere do. But of course, you know that! :)

    Btw, I am simply curious as to how someone from the C of E in Britain knew enough about the Coptic Church to join. When my doctor in the US was telling me about his church and I said "the Coptic, right?" he was very shocked that I even knew of it. Which I would say is the same about a lot of Britons - of course, you have a much stronger mid-East influence here - is that how you found out about it or did you research it? It is just interesting - Anglicans join the Catholic church all the time, but then again, we are a well-known church. Joining the Coptic is not as common, is it? I guess, if you don't mind, I'm just interested in what some of us call your "testimony", your story of conversion.

  • Addendum, ad nauseum :)


    You're also right. When religion is out of secular hands, it is much better. When I was in Ireland I was in a mostly Catholic country with shrines all over the place in the middle of nowhere, but one which shows tolerance for all faiths because it is not in govt hands. That made being there, for me, a truly spiritual as well as simply fun experience. The same can be said for the UK in reverse, and all countries where there is separation of church and state. I love being Catholic, but only because it IS out of govt control. As you quoted, His kingdom is not of this world. :) 

    God bless.


    God bless.
  • Dear byrdele,

    You ask:
    [quote author=byrdele link=topic=5487.msg74018#msg74018 date=1184082671]
    Dear Anglian,

    Btw, I am simply curious as to how someone from the C of E in Britain knew enough about the Coptic Church to join. When my doctor in the US was telling me about his church and I said "the Coptic, right?" he was very shocked that I even knew of it. Which I would say is the same about a lot of Britons - of course, you have a much stronger mid-East influence here - is that how you found out about it or did you research it? It is just interesting - Anglicans join the Catholic church all the time, but then again, we are a well-known church. Joining the Coptic is not as common, is it? I guess, if you don't mind, I'm just interested in what some of us call your "testimony", your story of conversion.


    which is a very fair question, because now I think about it, I guess it might seem a little out of the way. If I can crave the indulgence of our fellow posters here, I will say a little about how it happened.

    As you say, it is far from uncommon for Anglicans to join the Roman Catholic Church, and two of my Anglican friends did so about ten years ago, impelled, in part, by that Church's decisions about women priests, but also by a growing feeling that whilst it was quite possible to hold to an Orthodox theology within the Church, it was equally possible to hold to no theology at all; comprehensiveness of that breadth amounted to incoherence. I stayed; partly because as I understood it my own position was Orthodox; and partly because it seemed rather a 'Protestant' thing to do to take the decision to jump ship; here was where I had been placed by God.

    But I continued to read and to talk to Orthodox Christians and to Roman Catholics. The latter I found very sympathetic, and of course, the cultural framework being western European, that was not surprising. But I found the position on Papal Infallibility and on the filioque and on the Immaculate Conception (with the idea of Original Sin it incorporated) impossible to square with my understanding of the orthodox position of the early Church. That left Orthodoxy, but as I encountered it in its Eastern form locally it was very concerned with being Russian or Greek, and seemed to confuse ethnic practice with Orthodox praxis.

    Into this dilemma entered the British Orthodox Church. In reading (yet another) book about Orthodoxy, I came across mention of the BOC and looked it up here on the web.
    It seemed the answer to my dilemma. It was, I could see from its being part of the historic Church of Alexandria (a Church I had always admired, not least because of my devotion to St. Cyril of Alexandria) Orthodox, but it was also British in language and ethos. Meeting the Coptic priest at my own University, I found a truly holy monk whose transparent love for mankind moved me deeply; he knew about the BOC, and was glad that British people had found a way of being part of Orthodoxy; this I came to see was typical of the warm and welcoming attitude of the Copts I came to know. Where the EO people had been hung up on ethnicity, the Copts were concerned only with the Faith.

    So, to cut a longish story short, I got in touch with the BOC. They were, like the Copts, very warm and welcoming, but, like the Copts, applied no pressure at all. They were happy for me to ask endless questions, to come along to services, to talk to people afterwards, to e mail them, etc. etc. The Metropolitan of Glastonbury, Abba Seraphim, is another of those figures I have come across so many times in the Coptic Church, a holy man of transparent goodness, whose only concern to to divine aright the will of God for His people. There were little problems, like a 120 mile round trip to Church (and on Norfolk roads that means a journey of an hour and a half each way), but compared to the fullness of the Faith that I had found, that was a small thing. So, earlier this year, I was received into the Church - and the wonders of the Eucharistic feast in Orthodoxy.

    I continue to find the Copts a source of inspiration; Pope Shenouda III is one of the towering figures of modern Christianity, and much Coptic commentary of scripture contains insights I have had from no other source. My Catholic friends have never quite understood why I did not follow them, but are happy that I seem to have found my way to a Church about which, thanks to my joining it, they are now beginning to discover.

    As you say, byrdele, the Coptic Church is little known in Britain; but I think, slowly, things are changing. The great new cathedral of St. George at Stevenage is providing a centre through we we can operate in the UK. The recent Oriental Orthodox festival, the report of which you will find on that site, was a day of sheer joy in the Lord.

    And that is enough about me!

    In Christ,

  • Dear Anglian,

    That was such a lovely testimony. Yes, it is worth the drive to be where God wants you. I am glad that you have found such a fullness in faith.

    Like the Roman official said to Paul, "You'd almost persuade me to become a Christian", I can say the same of you and the others on this site about Coptic Orthodoxy and me. Although I am fulfilled where I am, I can see the draw of Coptic Christianity. It is very pure and simple. I have read the writings of Pope Shenouda III and yes, he is very good at explaining and he seems to explain out of love and so I also see him as a great Christian leader. He is always smiling. I saw him on t.v. at different Vatican functions, such as Pope JP's funeral Mass, Pope B's installment Mass, and I remember him because of the look of joy and peace on his face.

    God bless. I'm going to just read and go silent for now for a while.

  • Dear byrdele,

    Thank you for your forbearance - and kind response.

    We must all of us find Him as He finds us, and your Church and mine have much in common; where there are differences I find no problem respecting them; if it is His will that we, His children, should cease our quarrelling then it will be so. Even as I type this I see that the press and the media are making a big thing about the new pronouncement from the Vatican, and that yet another attempt is being made to stir up controversy. There is nothing controversial about the statement that in Catholic ecclesiology the Catholic Church is the only true Church; we Copts hold the same to be true of our Church, so we can hardly criticise someone else for sincerely holding that view of their own Church.

    Pope Benedict is saying nothing new. Of course we do not agree with what he says - no more than he would agree with our Pope making the same statement about the Coptic Church. These are things we have both believed for years. There is no reason why a restatement of what is believed should prevent a continuing dialogue - and friendly relations.

    I wish you joy with your reading - and a quietness of spirit and peace.

    In Christ,

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