FORTESCUE, ADRIAN (1874-1923), Roman Catholic clergyman, liturgist, and ecclesiastical historian. Fortescue was educated at the Scots College at Rome and at Innsbruck University in Austria. He was ordained a priest at Letchworth in 1907. Despite his pastoral duties, he was able to travel in the Middle East, where he became interested in the Eastern Christian communities and their local churches. Consequently he devoted a great deal of his time to composing the history of Eastern liturgies.
As a historian, he wrote The Orthodox Eastern Church (1907), The Lesser Eastern Churches (London, 1913), and The Uniate Eastern Churches (1923), in which he made use of the original sources. Although he always made his statements from the Roman Catholic perspective, he never concealed his sympathy for these ancient churches and his appreciation for their past glories. In concluding the story of the Copts, he declared that "for the sake of these glorious memories, for the sake, too, of the long line of their martyrs under Islam, we can feel nothing but respect, wish nothing but good to the people of Christ in Egypt. They have stood for His name so faithfully during the long, dark centuries now past. May they stand for it always in happier ages to come."
AZIZ S. ATIYA
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