The Empty Seat

Wisdom dictates that advice should be offered rarely and only when requested. But sometimes wisdom needs to be thrown to the wind when the heart is wiser than the head.

The Coptic Church would do well to leave one empty seat in the front row during the enthronement of Pope Tawadros II. It is to remind all Egyptians that they lack a leader in their President. The gross indecency of his absence can only be confronted by the eloquent silence of emptiness.

Egyptians have struggled with modernity for two centuries. The Copts and the Muslim Brotherhood have taken two radically different paths in that struggle. We now see the results with glaring clarity. Dr. Mursi had a golden opportunity to heal and lead by the simple act of sitting in a chair with his fellow Egyptians. But perhaps loyalty to his cult is stronger than an oath to his countrymen. Whatever the case, the fissures in Egypt were always there, and the Egyptians were experts at denial through the meaningless discourse of “National Unity”. Now the fissures are big enough to swallow all words save the truth. Pray that when the fractures appear that they not be along religious lines.


3 Comments on “The Empty Seat”

  1. Was president Sadat present when pope Shenouda was consacrated? Was president Nasser present when pope Kyrillos was consacrated? I don’t know but is fair to know this before making a comment on Mursi. Perhaps he followed the absences of previous presidents? I don’t know but it could explain. Of course I agree with you that he should be present but I also would appreciate if you would find out about the past.

    • salamamoussa says:

      President Nasser spent 6 hours during the opening ceremony of the new Cathedral in 1968. Most of the cabinet was there. Nasser spent 1 hour on the rope line shaking hands with Copts from all strata of society. I was there as a child

  2. I forgot says:

    If I may comment to Cornelis…

    Sometimes precedent should not be followed, this was one of those times.

    He can not claim Muslims and Christians are hand in hand and not attend the ceremony as the President of Egypt. All of it, not one group of it.

    He should have attended.


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