TEMPUS PER ANNUM | Year A | Gospel of St. Matthew | Cycle II

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Saturday, May 18, 2013

Egyptian Coptic Christian teacher accused of blasphemy

AsiaNews.it photo

From AsiaNews.it comes this excerpt of a story of the harassment of a young Egyptian social studies teacher.
In recent weeks, the case of Dimyana Ubeid Abdel al-Nour (also spelled  Demiana Abdel Nour) become front-page news. The 23-year-old Christian teacher at a primary school in Luxor was arrested on 8 May for allegedly insulting the Prophet Muhammad in class.

Faced with a large number of calls for her release, Prosecutor General Abdhallah freed her on bail (US$ 2,900), a huge sum for the young woman's family. Yet, Dimyana is still in prison where she begun a hunger strike ahead of her trial on 21 May.

Dimyana's legal ordeal began on 8 April 2012. The young teacher taught at the Shaikh Sultan Primary School and on that day was covering polytheism, religious life at the time of the pharaohs, and how Pharaoh Akhenaten had adopted monotheism. The lesson also touched on the three monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. During the class, the subject inspector was also present but he left ten minutes before the session ended.

Two days later, the school suspended the teacher after three children accused her of defaming Islam and praising the Gospel. In the following days, three separate committees as well as the school director questioned her.

The parents of some children had claimed that the teacher had compared Muhammad and the late Patriarch Shenouda III, judging the latter better than the former. However, from the start, Dimyana denied the allegations.

After questioning, all three committees cleared her. However, under pressure from parents and other teachers, the school brought the case to the attention of the Education Ministry, which opened a file against the teacher. On 8 May, she (was) arrested.
Let us pray for Dimyana, her persecutors and Dimyana's family—that truth, freedom of speech, freedom of religion and justice may prevail.

See also:
Coptic Teacher Remains In Prison
Egypt to try Coptic teacher for insulting religion

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Archbishop Charles Chaput

The ultimate goal of our laws is to make us morally good. Our laws should help us accord with the design God has written into human nature. Thus, Maritain writes, civil law “should always maintain a general orientation toward virtuous life, and make the common behavior tend, at each level, to the full accomplishment of moral law.”—Law and Morality in Public Discourse: How Christians Can Rebuild Our Culture

Ministry & Life of Priests

Therefore, the priest, while placing at the service of the Eucharistic celebration all his talents to make it come alive in the participation of the faithful, must abide by the rite stipulated in the liturgical books approved by the competent authority, without adding, removing or changing anything at all297. Thus his celebrating truly becomes a celebration of and with the Church: he does not do “something of his own”, but is with the Church in dialogue with God. This also promotes adequate active participation on the part of the faithful in the sacred liturgy: “The ars celebrandi is the best way to ensure the actuosa participatio. The ars celebrandi is the fruit of faithful adherence to the liturgical norms in all their richness; indeed, for two thousand years this way of celebrating has sustained the faith life of all believers, called to take part in the celebration as the People of God, a royal priesthood, a holy nation” (cf. 1P 2:4-5.9) 298.—Directory for the Ministry and Life of Priests, New Edition (2013), p. 95.


297

Cf. Ecumenical Council Vatican II, Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium, 22; C.I.C., can. 846, § 1; BENEDICT XVI, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis, 40.


298

BENEDICT XVI, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis, 38.

Hebrew, Latin & Greek

(A)nother reason to make sure we have some Latin (and Greek and Hebrew) in the Mass: If we say/chant the Kyrie, if we say/sing Alleluia, and if we say/chant Agnus Dei, we will in the Mass connect to the titulus, the sign Pilate posted on the Cross, “The King of the Jews” written in Hebrew, Greek and Latin so that all would understand it.—bsjy at Liturgy Guy blog.

G. K. Chesterton

Art, like morality, consists of drawing the line somewhere.