Anba Pachomeus, Bishop of Beheira and Pentapolis, flew back to Cairo from London where he had been on medical treatment for some eight weeks. The Bishop arrived last evening, Wednesday, at Cairo airport. Accompanying him were Anba Pimen of Qous and Naqada, and the Pope’s secretaries Fr Ammonius and Fr Angaelos. Pope Tawadros II, who had spent an hour at the VIP hall in the airport waiting for the plane to arrive, joyfully received the Bishop and welcomed him home. The meeting between them was especially warm, with the Pope thanking God for the safe arrival of Anba Pachomeus and his return to health.
The Bishop was then driven to his seat in Beheira, east of the Nile Delta, where he was received with heartfelt joy by the clerical synod of his parish. Later, the synod issued a statement in which they thanked Pope Tawadros, the bishops and clergy who had been with Anba Pachomeus, the medical team that treated him and cared for him, and the congregation for their love, care, and prayers. The declared, however, that there will be no visits allowed to the Bishop till he fully recuperates.
Treatment in London
Anba Pachomeus was flown to London on 27 August suffering from high fever that had persisted for about three weeks. He was admitted to a London hospital where he was diagnosed with meningoencephalitis, a virus that infects the brain and nerves and causes loss of motion and consciousness. Even though the disease is known to be hard to treat in old age, Anba Pachomeus showed marked improvement following two weeks of treatment; his fever subsided and he regained consciousness, and he was sufficiently well to be moved to another hospital in London for physiotherapy and rehabilitation.
The Bishop responded well to the physiotherapy, was able to be up and about, and even presided over Holy Mass in Stevenage, London, less than two weeks ago. He was joined by Anba Abra’am of Fayoum, Anba Lucas of Abnoub, and Anba Angaelos of the UK.
Anba Pachomeus, Bishop of Beheira and Pentapolis, is the second most senior bishop in the Coptic Church, the most senior being Anba Mikhail of Assiut who suffers from ill health. Anba Pachomeus was acting patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church between March 2012 when Pope Shenouda III passed away till November 2012 when Pope Tawadros II was enthroned. It was a critical, tumultuous period of time during which Egypt was under an oppressive Muslim Brotherhood regime. Anba Pachomeus carried his responsibility with such wisdom, dedication, and strength that won him the love and respect of not only the Coptic congregation but also of all Egyptians.
His parishioners in Beheira had observed a period of fasting and prayers for the recovery of their Bishop.
Pope Tawadros had visited Anba Pachomeus who is his spiritual father and mentor at the Cairo al-Salam Hospital more than once before he was flown to London, and prayed for him. The Pope, who then went on a 33-day pastoral visit to The Netherlands, Switzerland, and Canada, was in constant contact with the Bishop in London until he welcomed him back home last evening.
23 October 2014