Pope Shenouda Rejects Mufti’s Comments on Polygamy in Christianity and Calls on Him to Read the Bible

Coptic Pope Shenouda III rejected to acknowledge civil marriage between young Copts living abroad, describing this as a civil relation with no divine bond.

The Pope said during the weekly general audience in Alexandria yesterday evening that «some young immigrants resort to this type of marriage in order to improve their situation”, stressing that a marriage between young Orthodox must be religious so that it may be recognized.

The Pope denied the existence of polygamy in Christianity as affirmed by Egypt’s Ifta’ House. “I’ve already discussed this issue at length in my book [The law of monogamy].”

He called on the Grand Mufti of Egypt, Ali Gomaa, to read the Bible. He also commented on Gomaa’s recent statement that there was no evidence in the Bible that prohibited polygamy by replying that the Bible was indeed full of such evidence.

With regard to marriages being put off until the age of 35, the Pope ascribed this to the financial crisis, a wave of price rises sweeping the world, and spreading unemployment, which does not allow young people to form a family.

A university girl asked him whether she could be engaged to a perfect man but not very witty. He answered: “Try and see if he’s really not so unamusing as you’re saying. By the way, how can you say this guy’s perfect and then he’s got a defect? Look, you’d find a defect even in Archangel Michael, as he’s 7,000 years old. So, try to be a little bit reasonable, ok?”

The Pope advised girls not to be dragged by their feelings and passions. “It’s risky for university girls to fall in love. They should first think about completing their studies” he said.

The Pope urged priests and bishops to pay the tithe, saying: “You can’t transgress what you teach to people. You’re indeed the first who have to pay the tithe.”