El-Watan Egyptian newspaper published an article about organizing a trip by the Coptic church to visit Jerusalem. It said that the southern United States Diocese announced to organize such trip for the Copts living in the United States of America to visit the holy places in Jerusalem and Egypt from 3 to 20 May, 2016.
The newspaper said that such trip has been organized several times in violation of the decisions of the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church to ban such visits of the Copts. It added that this came after Pope Tawadros II visited Jerusalem to attend the funeral of Abba Abraham, Bishop of the holy land, and sent a delegation to attend the forty-day memorial service of the late bishop.
The article added that the official website of St. Mary and Archangel Michael in Florida organized the trip to Israel for 7 days and then to Egypt for 12 days in order to visit the most famous churches and monasteries in Cairo, Luxor, Aswan, Qena, Wadil Natroun and Alexandria. The organizers demanded women to wear decent clothes in the churches.
It also added that the same diocese has organized similar trips to Jerusalem, most recently in October 2015, which was attended by Bishop Joseph personally.
I wonder what the church leaders are thinking about this article! The spokesperson of the church just ignored the matter. He may think that God will speak for him, but the people may think that such information should be true as long as they were not denied by the church.
Where is the spokesperson of the church? He should appear and answer other questions like: how come a diocese that belongs to the Coptic church violates a decision of the holy synod? How come they announce the trip to Israel and not to the occupied land of Jerusalem? Why doesn’t the church announce that visiting Jerusalem is a political decision that the church has nothing to do about? Why should the announcement demand women to wear decent clothes? Are they going to take off their clothes and visit monasteries in bikinis? I hope the Pope and the spokesperson of the church may answer these questions before it’s too late!