BY DR YOHANA (JOSEPH) AZIZI:
The Venerable Istfan Douaihy was a prophet who saw that the Church has to speak to and include the people of God as they actually are, in their culture, character and diversity. For all people, everywhere, our divinely appointed aim is the same: we are made to seek union with God in heaven. But we are all different, and so the Church, as it teaches and leads us back to God, must be all things to all people (1 Corinthians 9:22). Douiahy’s understanding was three hundred years ahead of his time. He also saw the importance of ecumenism; how vital it is to build strong links to other Christians, especially the Orthodox, and to try to come to some mutual understanding with Muslims.