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Egytian cardinal Naguib works to relaunch dialogue with muslims

Card. Antonios NaguibPatriarch of Alexandria of the Copts (Egypt)"It was a movement coming from the people, especially from young people. There were also Christians. They had hoped to achieve the objective of this peaceful revolution, that is, building a state, a civil and democratic society based on the fundamentals of law and government."He says that to date the change was not done democratically, but was based on religious grounds. Card. Antonios NaguibPatriarch of Alexandria of the Copts (Egypt)"During the first two weeks of this movement, the unity between Christians and Muslims was 100%. It was expected to mark the end of religious-based conflicts, but changing attitudes cannot happen as quickly or as easily as the change of a system of government." A few weeks before the riots, religious tensions were on the increase with the attack on the Coptic Church of Alexandria on December 31st.Therefore, the pope called on the governments of the Middle East to protect religious minorities. This was largley misinterpreted by the local media and prompted Egypt to withdraw its ambassador to the Holy See.Card. Antonios NaguibPatriarch of Alexandria of the Copts (Egypt)"On Al-Jazeera television, they said that the Holy Father asked foreign governments to protect religious minorities in our country. This was false. Based on those statements, other media have attacked the position of the Holy Father without reading what he said, without even reference to the texts. Therefore, al-Azar said that relationship with the Holy See was broken.”The University of Al-Azhar is one of the main Muslim partners in dialogue with the Catholic Church. Antonios Naguib Cardinal regrets that dialogue has not resumed despite the fact that each side now has a clear position.Card. Antonios NaguibPatriarch of Alexandria of the Copts (Egypt)"I do not understand why. I sent two delegations to the president of Al-Azhar. The first was comprised of my two auxiliary bishops and the head of the Catholic communications office. They showed him the text of the pope and they explained it. The director just said, "Well, we?ll see." That same day, the Greek-Melkite Patriarch met with the minister of religious endowments, who is the second in command of Al-Azhar. He showed him the text of the pope, and he explained, but nothing has changed. It can be a political decision, but politics and the regime have changed. "Such a position makes difficult good relations and interfaith dialogue between the two major religious communities of Egypt. BR/RDFFJMBN