Pope Tawadros II: Law Must Be Enforced Indiscriminately

Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria called for enforcement of the law upon everyone in society without discrimination.

In an interview published on Thursday in Al-Nasr magazine, Pope Tawadros II expressed his fear of the state being established on a religious basis.

"Egyptian society refuses religious formation of the state," the pope was quoted as saying. "What was established by Muhammad Ali nearly two hundred years ago was a modern civil state that respected pluralism."

Pope Tawadros II blamed the state agencies for not providing practical solutions and for not implementing the law decisively, criticizing the Interior Ministry handling of the incident of the Khosos City and the attack on the cathedral in Abbassiya.

"There was negligence and miscalculation, and complicity may have occurred intentionally or unintentionally in the cathedral attack," the pope added.

The pope said the videos recorded during the attack were very painful, demanding the Ministry of Interior apologize for accusing Copts of causing the events of the cathedral.

Pope Tawadros explained that there were committees formed by the church to study the personal problems suffered by Christian families and the committees will present the results to the Holy Synod, the highest legislative authority in the Coptic Church, during in its meeting.

"The personal status law was presented to the state 30 years ago and it covers all Christian denominations. It has not been approved or put into effect, and thus it is not legitimized. The church is trying to make these issues [of personal status] easy without violating the Christian faith," he said.

Pope Tawadros also said he would pay a visit to Pope Francis I in May to congratulate him, and that visit would be marking 40 years on the first meeting between the Orthodox and the Catholic churches.

His Holiness stressed that the church is a spiritual institution that plays a social role in serving the community and contributes to bringing up good citizens who hold values and principles of humanity and can coexist with others.

"The church is an institution of peace and the state has to protect all institutions on its territory, especially the committed religious institutions," Pope Tawadros concluded.