Coptic Church Selects Three Candidates for Pope

And with lots being drawn to decided on who it will be.

Brother Raphael
Bishop Tawadros
Bishop Raphael

Delegates to a special electoral synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria have selected a monk and two bishops as candidates to succeed Pope Shenouda III of Alexandria.

On 29 October 2012 the 2,405 members of the Synod of Bishops and the church’s General Lay Council meeting at St. Mark’s Cathedral, in Cairo’s Abbasiya neighborhood cast ballots to select three candidates for the post. Seventeen names had been put forward for consideration by the commission, which narrowed the list to five candidates.

Read it all in Anglican Ink.


New Coptic Pope to be Named on 4th November

The spokesman of Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church, Bishop Paul, has announced that the new Coptic Orthodox Patriarch will be chosen on 4 November.

Three out of the current list of five candidates will be selected on 29 October, and their names will be put into the altar lottery, which will take place on 4 November.

The current final candidates were announced earlier this week.

The lottery will determine the successor to Pope Shenouda, who held the apostolic throne from 1971 until his death last March.




Coptic Orthodox Church Reveals 17 Candidates for Papal Seat

Lest we forget… Down to 17 candidates for the position of Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of All Africa on the Holy See of Saint Mark. Ultimately though, it’ll fall to lots to decide who will get to lead the estimated 12 – 18 million adherents of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria.

The Church has unveiled its longlist of bishops and monks competing to succeed Pope Shenouda III later this year .

The acting head of Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church has released details of the 17 candidates in the running to become the next pope, according to a report on Ahram’s Arabic-language news website.

Bishop Bakhomious has been head of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria since the death of Pope Shenouda III in March. The election of the next pope is due to take place in autumn.

Seven of the the candidates named by the Church are bishops and 10 are monks.

According to church rules, the list will be whittled down from 17 to 7 from which the boards of the church’s city councils will vote to pick three. The final choice will be made by a young child picking a name from a box.

Ahram lists the candidates as follows, with limited biographical details:

1. Bishop Bishoy: Secretary of the Holy Synod and the metropolitan of Damietta, Kafr El Sheikh, Babrary and the monastery of Saint Demiana

Born in 1942, Bishoy studied engineering before joining the monastic order. Ordained as a Bishop in 1972, he was elevated to the rank of Metropolitan in 1990.

2. Bishop Youannes: Former secretary of the late Pope Shenouda III and responsible for social services

A former student of medicine at the University of Assiut, Youannes was ordained as a Bishop in June 1993.

3. Bishop Boutros: General Bishop and Pope Shenouda III’s personal secretary

Born in Sharqiya governorate in 1949, he has a degree in agricultural sciences and was ordained as a bishop in June 1985.

4. Bishop Tawadros: General Bishop of El Beheira

Born in 1952, he studied pharmacy at the University of Alexandria and was ordained in June 1997. Tawadros is a member of the Holy Synod.

5. Bishop Raphael: Auxiliary Bishop of Central Cairo and Heliopolis as well a former aide tolate Pope Shenouda III and member of the Holy Synod.

Born in Cairo in 1954 and a graduate from Ain Shams University’s medical faculty, Raphael was ordained as a bishop in June 1997.

6. Bishop Bavnotius: Bishop of Samallout and Taha El Aaameda

Born in Cairo in 1948 and a member of the Holy Synod, this medical graduate was ordained as a bishop in June 1976.

7. Bishop Kyrillos: Bishop of Milan

Born in 1952 in Sohag governorate and a former engineering graduate, he was ordained in June 1986 before becoming Bishop of Milan in June 1996.

8. Father Anstasy El-Samuely

A monk at the monastery of St. Samuel in Minya. Born in 1939, he has a degree in commerce.

9. Father Maximos Anthony

Born in Alexandria in 1954, he serves at the monastery of St. Anthony in the Red Sea governorate. Holding a degreee in agriculture, he also has a diploma in icon restoration from the University of Moscow as well as one in museum administration from the United States.

10. Father Raphael Ava Mina

A monk at the monastery of Mar Mina in Alexandria, he was born in 1924 in Cairo and graduated in law from the University of Ain Shams.

11. Father Begul Anba Bishoy

A monk at the monastery of St. Bishoy in Wadi Natrun, he was born in 1951 and has a degree in mechanical engineering.

12. Father Shenouda Anba Bishoy

Also serving at St. Bishoy in Wadi Natrun, Shenouda was born in 1943 in Minya and holds a degree in religious studies.

13. Father Bishoy St. Paul

A monk at the monastery of St. Paul in Egypt’s Red Sea governorate, he was born in 1964 in Mansoura. He holds a degree in agriculture from the University of Alexandria.

14. Father Sawiris St. Paul

Also at St. Paul’s, Sawiris was born in Sharqiya governorate in 1959 and has a degree in religious studies.

15. Father Bakhomious El-Sorian

A monk at the monastery of Virgin Mary in Wadi Natrun. Father Bakhomious was born in Aswan in 1963 and has a joint-degree in science and education.

16. Father Daniel El-Sorian

Also at the monastery of Virgin Mary, he was born in Qena governorate in 1962 and holds degrees in science, education and Coptic studies from the University of Lyon.

17. Father Serafeem El-Sorian

The third contender from the Virgin Mary monastery, he was born in 1959 in Cairo and has a science degree from the University of Ain Shams.



Pope Benedict XVI to Cut Back on Foreign Trips

So says his brother.

“I think he won’t travel that much anymore, because it’s more and more of an effort,” Rev Georg Ratzinger said of Pope Benedict XVI, who has looked frail in recent weeks.

Rev Ratzinger, who is three years older than his brother, made the remarks during an interview with a Catholic news agency in Germany, KNA.

In a book published last week, he recalled how upset he was when his brother was made pope because he was afraid the role would impose too much mental and physical stress.

In ‘My Brother, the Pope’, published in German and English, he said he was “crestfallen” and “depressed” over his brother’s election as head of the Roman Catholic Church.

“I was seriously worried. I didn’t think of the honours or the positive aspects, but only of the toil and the burden which that responsibility meant for my brother.”
The Pope, who turns 85 on April 16, looked tired during Easter services in Rome.

His duties included leading the annual Way of the Cross procession around the Colosseum on Good Friday and celebrating Mass on Sunday in St Peter’s Basilica.

During his traditional “Urbi et Orbi” (Latin for “to the city and to the world”) Easter speech he called for an end to the bloodshed in Syria and for a return to peace in Mali, which was recently hit by a military coup.

During his trip to Mexico and Cuba last month, he used a walking stick publicly for the first time, amid long-standing concerns for his physical wellbeing.

Instead of walking down the long central aisle of St Peter’s, he travels on a platform on wheels which is pushed by Vatican aides.

The Pope, who succeeded John Paul II in 2005, has just one more foreign trip planned this year – to Lebanon in September, where he will celebrate Mass in Beirut.



Pope Uses a Cane for the First Time in Public

When he arrived at the airport in Rome at the start of his six-day trip to Mexico and Cuba this morning:

Pope Benedict XVI on Friday used a cane – apparently for the first time in public – to help him walk up to a plane during an airport ceremony to see him off on a pilgrimage to Mexico and Cuba.

Benedict, who turns 85 next month, leaned on a black cane with his right hand as he walked steadily for about 100 meters (yards) to the foot of the Alitalia plane from the helicopter which flew him from the Vatican to Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci airport Friday morning.

Papal aides, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the pope started using the cane about two months ago in private because it makes him feel more secure, and not for any medical problem.

Italian Premier Mario Monti and church officials greeted him at the departure ceremony. Benedict then climbed the steps of the aircraft unaided, stopping at one point to wave, before entering the plane, which began a 13-1/2 hour-flight to Mexico.

Benedict returns to Rome on March 29.

A few months ago, Benedict started using a wheeled platform to save his energy when navigating the vast length of St. Peter’s Basilica. On Wednesday, Benedict didn’t hold his usual weekly public audience, Vatican officials said, so he could rest before the trip.