May 17, 2011

Quotes from Blessed Pope John Paul the Great (video)

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Catholics Providing Aid To Coptic Christians

Coptic Church: "Even the little children among us have to learn to live with the Cross“ 

By Eva-Maria Kolmann 

The Bishop of Limburg, Franz-Peter Tebartz-van-Elst, spoke in his address of the good and close relations between the Catholic and Coptic Orthodox churches and of the respect of Catholics "for the ancient traditions of the Church in Egypt and in a special way for the venerable Patriarchate of Alexandria" which, he said had been dignified "by the witness of numerous saints, martyrs and Doctors of the Church". He emphasised the common witness of Christians and described the attack on those attending the Midnight Mass as "an attack on the faith that is commemorated in the Liturgy". He called on the country's leaders to establish "a legal system that consistently tackles injustice against Christians also, and prosecutes and punishes it", and likewise a degree of religious freedom that includes the right to change one's religious affiliation. 

Bishop Athanagoras Ziliaskopoulos, the representative of the Orthodox bishops' conference and chairman of the Interfaith Council in Germany, emphasised that this "cowardly attack has revealed the high price that Christians have to pay for their faith, precisely in those places that are closely associated with the origin of Christianity", and also warned against people bringing the problems and conflicts of their home countries with them and transferring them to German society. 

Aiman Mayzek, the chairman of the Muslim Central Council in Germany, strongly condemned the attack and recalled that 1400 years ago the Coptic patriarch had given shelter to the Muslim community when it had suffered persecution. "Acts of terror and atrocities will not erase what Copts have given to Muslims in the way of peace and shelter", he said adding that this would "always remain in the collective memory of the Muslims". He emphasised that "the attackers will not succeed in driving a wedge between Christians and Muslims", and said that an attack on a house of God, no matter of which faith, was for Muslims like "an attack on our own mosque". 

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