Decisions and recommendations of the Holy Synod in its session of June 2017

Decisions and recommendations of the Holy Synod in its session of June 2017

First: Decisions

1. Considering 8 Amshir – 15 February of each year a day to commemorate modern age Coptic martyrs.
2. Creating a special department in the General Bishopric for Social Services to specialize in caring for the families of martyrs and confessors.
3. Acknowledgement of the monastery of St. Boctor in Khatatba for monks.
4. Reconfirming the decision made before that no ritual books are to be printed without written approval of the Holy Synod or the rituals committee.
5. No recording of Coptic hymns will be approved as a reference except if issued by the rituals committee of the Holy Synod.
6. Assuring that passing a church course in preparation for marriage or obtaining a certificate from one of the Church approved centers is one of the conditions before writing the engagement record.

Second: Recommendations

1. Care and Service Committee:
The Synod committee for combating addiction recommended that each parish appoint a priest or servant to be in charge of addiction cases, encouraging the parishes that have medical centers or hospitals to build a special department for psychiatry. The committee also recommended that parishes raise awareness on the dangers of addiction for the different educational levels. The committee has also requested that priests and servants of both sexes get training on the talents of combating addiction.

2. The Committee of Faith, Education and Legislation:
The committee values the efforts of His Holiness Pope Tawadros II in the ecumenical relations and His Holiness’s signing the joint statement with His Holiness Pope Francis the Pope of Rome on Friday, 28/4/2017 and it was published in Al Kiraza magazine, issues 17 & 18 for the year 45 issued on Friday, 5 May 2017 – 27 Baramuda 1733 in pages 6 & 7 of the magazine. This was followed with an impressive celebration in which ecumenical prayers were raised attended by His Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, Patriarch of Constantinople along with Their Holinesses, the Pope of Alexandria and the Pope of Rome and the Heads of Christian churches in Egypt at the church of St. Peter and St. Paul in honour of the martyrs of the church for this year. It was an eventful day for strengthening the ecumenical relations.

The committee has also assured that there has to be discrimination between the usual joint statements issued by Their Holinesses, the Heads of the churches in their ecumenical meetings and between the official agreements on belief, which have to be approved by the Holy Synods of their churches.⁠⁠⁠⁠

3. The Medical Committee
“Christian teaching announces clearly that any faithful person is defiled only by sin.

And that man is the temple for the Holy Spirit, which does not leave him except in the case of dying in sin. Thus, the woman is pure and a temple for the Holy Spirit in all days of her life.

But, due to piety and proper care for Holy Communion, and abiding by the traditions handed down to us, it is proper for man and woman to abstain from communion in periods of physical unpreparedness* except in special cases as decided by the spiritual priest for pastoral reasons.

We also assure that woman is not prohibited under all circumstances from performing all other spiritual practices including personal prayers, liturgy, reading the bible, service or being present in church.

We also confirm that a baby can be baptized (boy or girl) from the first day of its birth if necessary”

• (bodily discharge of all kinds: nocturnal emission, monthly period, post-birth bleeding, sexual intercourse)