CAIRO: Pope Shenouda III, head of Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church, assigned the Church’s legal committee to file a lawsuit at the Supreme Constitutional Court to settle the legal controversy regarding the Administrative Court’s ruling that compels the church to allow divorced Orthodox Copts to remarry.
Ramses El-Naggar, a lawyer representing the Orthodox Church, told Daily News Egypt that Pope Shenouda met with members of the legal Committee Monday evening at St. Mark’s Cathedral in Abassiyya to discuss the legal aspects of the lawsuit.
“We are almost finished with the legal form of the lawsuit and we will send it to Pope Shenouda … to revise.”
El-Naggar said that Pope Shenouda will file the lawsuit as representative of the Copts.
"He [Pope Shenouda] will sign the lawsuit himself as representative of the Copts and the legal committee will deliver it to the court."
Pope Shenouda had announced that the church would not implement the ruling, which he considered a violation of the teachings of the Bible and an intervention in religious rights.
The Administrative Court’s verdict caused outrage among the Copts and hundreds demonstrated in support of the Pope’s stance.
As a result, the state announced the formation of a legal committee that would revise that unified personal status law for Christians.
Naguib Gobrael, a lawyer representing the Orthodox church, and head of the Egyptian Union for Human Rights Organization, told Daily News Egypt that the Pope’s lawsuit is based on the contradiction of the courts’ verdicts.
The Supreme Administrative Court had issued previous verdicts refusing lawsuits that compel the church to allow a second marriage.
These verdicts contradict with the Administrative Court’s recent verdict.
“Article 25 of the Supreme Constitutional Court’s law allows the filing of legal lawsuits in front of it so it can rule in cases where there are contradicting laws and verdicts."
He added that the writ on the Administrative Court’s verdict will be heard on June 30 at Al-Waili Court for urgent cases.