Skip to comments.Papal election committee makes surpise move to choose new pope
Posted on 10/15/2012 4:18:58 PM PDT by markomalley
In the next weeks, the slow, complicated procedure of choosing a new Pope for the Coptic Church - following the death, last spring, of Shenouda III - will come to an end. In the meantime, the names of five candidates have been given; these five names will be narrowed down to three and of these, one man will be chosen to lead the millions of Copts in an Egypt ruled by the Muslim Brotherhood.
In a surprise move, the papal election committee have barred several powerful figures within the Coptic Orthodox Church from running in the next papal elections. The announcement was made by Bishop Pachomious, who is acting as Patriarch until Shenouda IIIs successor of is appointed. The new Pope will be enthroned as the 118th Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa on the Holy Apostolic See of Saint Mark the Evangelist.
The remaining five candidates include two bishops: Tawadros, holding the title of Auxiliary Bishop for the Holy Metropolis of Beheira, and Bishop Raphael, who holds the title of Assistant Bishop for Central Cairo. The other three candidates are monks: Raphael Ava Mina, Pachomius al-Soriany and Saravim al-Soriany. Bishop Bishoy, Secretary of the Holy Synod whose official title is Metropolitan Bishop of the Holy Metropolis of Damietta, was excluded as a candidate. Bishoy plays a very important role, as he is the secretary of the highest religious body, the Holy Synod. He is one of the most senior members in the synod, and seniority is a pivotal factor in the traditions of the Coptic Church.
Since 2010, Bishop Bishoy has been at the centre of a controversy in the Muslim world; two years ago he discussed the authenticity of some verses in the Koran. Obviously this circumstance triggered a heated debate and makes him a difficult figure in terms of relations with the countrys majority faith. Were Bishoy to be elected Patriarch and Pope, this choice might be read as an act of hostility towards Islam, just when acts of violence and intolerance against Christians are becoming more frequent.
Another very important prelate was excluded: Bishop Youannes, who is Assistant Bishop and Patriarchal Secretary at the Patriarchal Residence in Cairo and was close to the late Pope Shenouda III. In a way, his exclusion could show that voters are dissatisfied with the line taken by the previous patriarch. According to tradition, the final selection will be based on three names, from a starting number of seventeen. A blindfolded child will choose one of the three names, following a tradition sealed by a presidential decree of 1957.
From 19 November to 21 November, the entire Coptic Church will begin a fast and on 24 November, 2405 voters both in and outside Egypt will submit ballots, choosing from the five remaining nominees. After a third fast on 26-29 November, a liturgical service will be held on 2 December in the Cathedral of St Mark in Abbasiya, and the names of the top three nominees chosen during the papal election will be placed on the altar, where a blindfolded child will select the name of the next Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church.
Not the Coptic Rite that honors Pope Benedict as Pope.
And what did you find out?
I found a trusted FReeper.
Interesting. I once heard Pope Shenouda III speak (when he was on a tour of the US), but never knew how the Coptic Church selected a new pope. No black smoke or white smoke needed.