AFRICA/EGYPT - President al Sisi confirms Board of Directors for Catholic foundations

Tuesday, 2 March 2021 middle east   oriental churches   church properties  

Cairo (Agenzia Fides) - Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al Sisi confirmed by decree the establishment of the council for the administration of the foundations of the Catholic Church in Egypt. The presidential decree of February 27th published in the Official Journal as provision 80/2021. A similar presidential decree also set up the Board of Directors for the foundations of the Evangelical Christian community in Egypt. The two bodies were oficially launched with Law 190 of 2020. The new presidential decree stipulates that the Coptic Catholic Patriarch Ibrahim Isaac Sidrak will head the body's Board of Directors, for a period of 4 years. In addition to the Patriarch, the council has eleven members, including bishops, priests, laypeople who represent the Catholic communities present on Egyptian territory.
The presidential decree completes the process, which began in 2019, of setting up a government commission charged with drafting a law for the administration of assets of the Catholic Church and the Evangelical Churches present in Egypt. In 2019, the Catholic Church and the evangelical denominations had sent to the competent government bodies the request for the establishment of bodies responsible for the control and good management of their properties and real estate on the model of that controlling and administering the property of the Coptic Orthodox Church and Islamic Communities. The bodies that have now been set up and have a board of directors will henceforth ensure the proper administration of church assets, including those that are the subject of legal disputes. In an interview published by Fides in January 2020 (see Fides, 28/1/2020), the Coptic Catholic Bishop of Assiut, Kyrillos William reported that the bodies in question "must also ensure the correct use of donations and avoid any use for personal, private or clan profit of ecclesiastical property". The two recently established bodies are to prepare an annual report and a budget for the administration of the ecclesiastical assets entrusted to them and submit them to the relevant civil authorities. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 2/3/2021)