Message from the President of CCEE, Cardinal Péter Erdő, on the events of recent days in Cairo
St. Gallen, 13 October 2011
In the face of the events of recent days in Cairo, sure in the knowledge of belonging to the same communion in Christ who died and rose, as European Bishops we wish to restate our closeness to all Citizens in Egypt, and especially to our brothers in the Coptic Christian community, affected in these days by the murderous violence against peace, harmony between religions, freedom and human dignity.
The presence of Coptic Christians in Egypt dates back to the preaching of Saint Mark the Evangelist, and from that time their community has been a gift for Egyptian society and the whole of the Middle East. Citizens like all others, Christians, too, are committed to the building of society in freedom, justice, truth and love. In this beloved Nation, the friendship existing and manifested at various recent events between people of different religious denominations is a sign of true hope.
We call on the governments of the European countries to take a stance in defense of all those who, as Christians, are subjected to attacks because of their religious, ethnic or social belonging.
We pray to the Lord for all Christians in Egypt, that He may give them the strength to continue to be authentic witnesses of Christ and of fraternity with all people, without which there will not be a better future for individual nations or humanity.
To the Council of the Bishops´ Conferences of Europe (CCEE) belong, as members, the current 33 European Bishops’ Conferences of this Continent, represented by right by their Presidents, and the Archbishops of Luxembourg, of the Principality of Monaco, the Maronite Archbishop of Cyprus and the Bishop of Chişinău (Moldova Rep.) and the Eparchial Bishop of Mukachevo. The President is Cardinal Péter Erdő, Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, Primate of Hungary; the Vice-Presidents are Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, Archbishop of Genoa, and Mgr Józef Michalik, Archbishop of Przemyśl. The General Secretary is Mgr. Duarte da Cunha. The Secretariat is based at St Gallen (Switzerland).