Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Stand for religious freedom, Vatican cardinal urges Egyptian Catholics

“The ability to profess one's own creed must be guaranteed to everyone without exception, and thus also to Christians,” the prefect of the Congregation for Eastern Churches said during a visit to Egypt.

Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, speaking to Catholic Church leaders, acknowledged the “very difficult present situation” facing the Church in Egypt. He encouraged clerics to recall that Jesus prepared for his trials with periods of especially intense prayer and communion with the Father. 

Cardinal Sandri also urged Egyptian Catholics to be mindful of Egypt’s proud traditions: “the heights of religiousness and culture that it has known and which must be confirmed in the present and the future: a culture ever open to the revelation of God.”

During the Year of Faith, he continued, there is a particular call “to knock at the hearts of tired and indifferent Christians so that they might rediscover the joy of Christ and return to Him in order to have true and eternal life."

During his stay in Egypt, Cardinal Sandri presided at the consecration of a new Catholic Church, dedicated to Our Lady of Peace, at Sharm el-Sheikh. He met with the country’s Catholic bishops—led by the Coptic Catholic Patriarch Antonios Naguib—and with the leaders of the Greek Orthodox Church and the Coptic Orthodox Church.

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