Father Antoine Rafic Greiche, official spokesman for the Catholic Church in Egypt, has welcomed communication with the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), stressing that the group respects minorities, and wants to open dialogue with the Islamic movement as the most moderate in Egypt.
In a statement to «Freedom and Justice» Newspaper, Greiche said, “So far we have not received any communications from the Brotherhood to discuss issues of common concern”, and added, “We will communicate with them, as soon as they want”.
On the other hand, a senior bishop of the Coptic Church stressed that the visit of a delegation from the Evangelical Church to the MB Chairman reflects an atmosphere of harmony between the Copts and the largest Islamic faction in Egypt.
The bishop – who requested anonymity – noted that the Egyptian Pope Shenouda III’s health prevents him from going out on visits nowadays. He also stressed that, “The Church is hoping for a visit by Dr. Mohamed Badie, Brotherhood Chairman, to Pope Shenouda at the papal headquarters, at the earliest time, to reconcile opinions and views and bolster good relations between the Church and the Brotherhood as the most moderate in Egypt".
In this regard, father Morkos, Bishop of Shubra Al-Khaimah (Cairo), said: “The church welcomes all visitors, and its doors are open to all people”.
In turn, Dr. Mahmoud Hussein, MB Secretary-General , said that the group welcomes any initiative from the Pope and the Catholic Church for dialogue on the Evangelical Church’s approach. He also pointed out that both the MB’s headquarters and its Guidance Bureau welcome any visit by the Church.
Further, Dr. Hussein called on the Church to “feel free to visit the Brotherhood for discussion on all issues and developments on the scene”, adding that the group has often declared its desire for such meetings and dialogues.
Dr. Hussein said, "The MB started this dialogue, already, by visiting the church on the occasion of Christmas, and that if the Pope invited the Brotherhood Chairman to visit the church, he would certainly welcome and accept such invitation".
Dr. Hussein underscored the importance and the need for more meetings, dialogues and discussions for common understanding, consensus and convergence on all major issues and developments.