Anba Abraham, memory eternal, ז”ל

Anba Abraham, memory eternal, ז”ל

Archbishop Abraham, Head of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Jerusalem and the Near East fell asleep and passed away. His funeral will take place on Saturday morning in the presence of Pope Tawadros of Alexandria and the Church of Saint Mark. The Head of the Coptic Church will come for the first time in decades of absence and although there is a peace treaty between Israel and Egypt. Abp Abraham stipulated in his will that he wanted to be buried in Jerusalem, which is als oa new feature in the common tradition of the local Churches. Anba Abraham has been sick for many years, getting progressively blind. He also suffered of severe kidney problems and was treated in the Israeli hospitals. In many ways, he was quite aware of the development of Israeli society and his clergymen, mainly monks speak, read and are fluent in Hebrew. The Coptic Patriarchate of Jerusalem took a special turn many years ago, not quite openly, just they have lots of visitors, among which there are a lot of Israelis. They always welcomed me with books in Hebrew at the church on the top of the Holy Sepulcher (St. Helena’s cistern) while maintaining a strict Coptic and Arabic language and cultural attitude.
Indeed, the visit of Pope Tawadros shows some similarities with the visit that the Maronite Patriarch Bashara Boutros Rai paid to Israel and the Territories in May 2014 when Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomaios met at the Holy Sepulcher. The Maronites could meet with the Head of their CHurch very freely everywhere. In the case of Pope Tawadros, the circumstances are sad, Abp Abraham was a man of wisdom, witty, very kind and nice, strong-minded and realistic. The only point to mention at this stage is that people often do not see how numerous the so-called “Monophysite” Churches (Armenian, Syrian-Orthodox, Coptic and Ethiopian Church faithful and clergy strongly develop in the region facing anti-christian persecutions directly and somehow overcoming them, definitely because of their multi-secular experience and maybe “style of way of believing in the Lord”. (photo credit: Ori Orhof).

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