Feb 13, 2019
“Do you know how my friendship with His Holiness Pope Kirolos VI, was developed?” I answered that I did not know.
He then said:
“In the beginning, I did not know him very well, but rather I knew of him, and I had heard controversies about him.
When he was a candidate for papacy, I attacked him violently in editorials of some newspaper. When he was chosen and ordained, I went to congratulate him for pontification.
After greeting him, while noticing how cheerful he was, I thought that he has never read my editorials. Then, still cheerful, told me with a smile: ‘They say so and so about me’, mentioning my accusations.
I answered by asking his forgiveness since I did not really know him that well.
His Holiness then smiled and said: ‘You have not attacked me, you have attacked Father ‘Mina the Lonesome.’ Father Mina passed away. I am Kirolos, the father of all!’
I felt how large is the heart of this holy man; and, from that point on, we became buddies, our relationship was that of great affection.”
This is a story of a big heart, knows how to win people with his love, and convert even his adversaries to friends.
He internalized the fact that the greatness of a human being lies not in his status or his popularity, but in his interest towards everyone, so to make of him a personal friend.
Do not say that because he was a pope and patriarch, his job was to win everybody and should be able to forgive.
Indeed, the big heart is not necessarily a symptom of a church rank or of age. It is a manifestation of how roomy the heart is to accommodate God.
Father Tadros Yacoub Malaty