Monday, February 13, 2006

Visit by the Pope of Alexandria unites cultures in São Paulo

It is nice to have a positive post here. (link)

The article is a bit long so I can't repost it all, but some parts:

"São Paulo is an excellent example of relations between the various religions," stated cardinal Cláudio Hummes, archbishop of São Paulo, who was at the Coptic temple to greet Pope Shenouda. According to the cardinal, all orthodox churches are considered sisters by the Catholics. "It is therefore a pleasure to meet him here," he said. "The Coptic community in Brazil is small, but not less important," he added.

It is nice to see the stated declaration that we are all family by a Catholic Cardinal. We make these statements often, but usually in the context of deep theological documents and press releases. Here however it was in the physical act of being together to celebrate.

The meeting of cultures was also clear among the faithful. The young Sérgio Roberto de Lima Lee, aged 16, has been a deacon at the Coptic church of São Paulo since it opened its doors, in 2001. Deacons are not preachers, but they help the priest during the service. They are similar to altar boys in the Catholic church, but have greater responsibilities. A curious fact is that Sérgio's father is Korean and he has no Egyptian or Arab origin.

The above quote shows the universal appeal of the Apostolic Churches and the Christian faith in general. Again, it is very uplifitng to see such a wide range of people together in peace. But the following part touches me greatly:

Egyptian tradesman Ibrahim Saad, who has been in Brazil for 12 years, lived a special emotion. His daughter, Sofia, three months old, was one of the two children baptised by the Coptic patriarch at the ceremony yesterday. "I am very happy," said Saad, who volunteered to drive the Pope around during his visit.

I'm sure the parents never expected that in such a small community, so far removed for the physical seat of the faith, that such a thing would ever happen. It shows that even geography bends to the law of our hearts and the hopes of our souls.

I pray in joy for the Coptic Church in Brazil. I pray a joyous prayer for the parents, children and single members of this Church. And I pray that the Roman Catholic Church may always view them with the love of a sibling in Brazil and around the world.

1 comment:

Egypeter said...

Isn't that a nice story. Thanks for posting and your heart-felt prayers David. I too loved the part of His Holiness baptizing that little child and the joy it brought to her father. Our Pope loves to physically baptize babies all over the world. He came and consecrated our church about 10 years ago...really a special moment to have your Pope come to your church...ya know? Take care and God bless.