Pope Shenouda III fined in re-marriage case

The Supreme Administrative Court has issued a decision requiring Pope Shenouda III to pay businessman Magdi William LE150,000 in a re-marriage case.

William had divorced actress Hala Sedqi but was denied a marriage permit from the Pope despite a court ruling authorizing the businessman to re-marry.

The Pope lost an appeal to overturn a court verdict in favor of William, who sued the church for denying him authorization to wed again. The Pope insists on maintaining the status quo whereby Egyptian Copts are forbidden to divorce except in cases of proven adultery or religious conversion of a spouse.

Shenouda threatened to defrock any priest who allows a divorced Christian to remarry, except under the above conditions.

The Supreme Constitutional Court recently overturned a ruling by the Supreme Administrative Court that would have forced the Coptic Orthodox Church to issue re-marriage permits for divorcees despite the church's stance on the issue.

The ruling was well-received by the Coptic Church.

In related news, a committee comprised of representatives from the different Egyptian Christian sects will soon submit a final version of a proposed personal status law for non-Muslims for approval by parliament.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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