Catholic Ties with Muslim Leaders Reportedly Derailed by Same-Sex Blessings

Catholic clergy from Egypt have warned that ties with Orthodox and Islamic leaders are being derailed by a Vatican decision to allow the blessing of same-sex couples, after the country’s influential Coptic Orthodox Church suspended dialogue over the issue.

“The pope and Vatican misjudged the timing of their declaration last December — it was widely seen as unprepared and awkwardly managed, just to satisfy churches in the West,” said Father Rafic Greiche, editor of Egypt’s Catholic Hamil al-Risalah weekly and former spokesman of the Catholic Coptic Church.

“While there was no consideration of the Islamic world, the document was a propaganda gift to Orthodox churches, whose bishops and priests are now insisting only Orthodox traditions are truly righteous,” he said.

The Cairo-based priest was reacting to a March 7 decision by the governing Holy Synod of Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church, the Middle East’s largest Christian denomination, to halt theological dialogue with Catholics over the Vatican’s Dec. 18 declaration, “Fiducia Supplicans.”

In an OSV News interview, he said the synod’s move to suspend rather than break off dialogue offered hope ties could eventually be resumed.

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