Nuncio in Egypt: Nation's Future in Hands of the People

Says Governments Should Act for «Common Good»

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ROME, FEB. 11, 2011 ( The future of Egypt is now in the hands of its people, says the apostolic nuncio in the country.

Archbishop Michael Louis Fitzgerald, who has held the post of nuncio in Egypt since 2006, told ZENIT that «it is for Egyptians to find the right solution to the present crisis.»

After 18 days of protests that left some 300 dead, President Hosni Mubarak stepped down earlier today. Mubarak, 82, had ruled the country for 30 years. 

The archbishop recalled that last Sunday, Benedict XVI «prayed that Egypt and the people of Egypt may find once more harmony and peace,» and added that «apart from that, there has been no specific statement from the Holy See.»

«Yet,» he continued, «the teaching of the social doctrine of the Church is clear. Every human community needs an authority to govern it, but the authority does not derive its moral legitimacy from itself. It must act for the common good, using morally licit means to attain this good, and not acting in a despotic manner.»

Quoting from the Catholic Catechism of the Church, he stated: «The common good consists of three essential elements: respect for and promotion of the fundamental rights of the human person; prosperity, or the development of the spiritual and temporal goods of society; the peace and security of the group and its members» (No.1925).

«Many of the protestors’ complaints about the present regime could fall under these headings, even if they would not use the same wording,» Archbishop Fitzgerald noted.

When asked about the role of Egyptian Catholics in the unfolding events, he stated that they are, «as citizens of their country, to take their responsibility in moving toward a society where greater attention is paid to justice and equality.»

Regarding interreligious dialogue, the prelate said «the events of recent weeks have produced a feeling of solidarity among Christians and Muslims. This should be a good basis for increased dialogue and cooperation in society.»

[With the contribution of Tony Assaf]
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