Petition against the latest court ruling to interfere with Church Marriage.

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What God has joined together let no man separate

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We the undersigned reject the ruling on Saturday, May 29 2010, issued by the Egyptian court ruled to deprive the head of the Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Church of the control over matters of divorce and marriage, giving the civil courts the authority to oversee affairs which the Church considers are in its core religious competencies.

The Supreme Administrative Court's ruling compels HH Pope Shenouda III, Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church, to give a license for marriage for the second time to a divorced Coptic man, rejecting Pope Shenouda's appeal and upholding the ruling by a lower court.
An Administrative Court (first instance) had previously issued in 2009 a ruling in favor of the plaintiff Naguib, ruling that he was entitled to receive the Church's license, but the Pope lodged an appeal against it before the Supreme Administrative Court. At that time, Pope Shenouda said that the ruling of the administrative court to oblige the Egyptian church to issue a license for a divorced man is non-binding. He added: "We are only bound by the teachings of the Holy Bible. We cannot go against our conscience and comply with a court ruling which is a civilian ruling and not ecclesiastical."
    
In response to the May 29th ruling, Bishop Armiya, Secretary to Pope Shenouda, issued a statement stressing the respect of the Coptic Orthodox Church for the Egyptian judiciary and its rulings, but saying "there is no force on earth that can force the Church to violate the teachings of the Bible and Church laws, based on "What God has joined together let no man separate." He added that Islamic law allows the Copts to resort to their own laws, and the state respects the freedom of religion.
   
The Church respects the freedom rights of those who want to divorce outside the Church, therefore, those who want to divorce should respect the Church's freedom rights as well. If a man divorces his wife, the Church does not force him to take her back, therefore such a man has no right to force the Church to endorse his divorce. Let those who want to divorce and remarry do it without the Church consent, and without the Church blessing. By definition a consent or blessing is voluntary and cannot be ruled by force. Nothing can force the Church. Nothing can force His Holiness Pope Shenouda III, and there is no power on earth that can separate him from respecting the Holy Bible and abiding by the Lord Jesus Christ's commands.
   

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