Pope Tawadros II today made a telephone call to the mother of Wael Saad Tawadros who had been a monk named Ishaia’ al-Maqari, but was defrocked by the Coptic Orthodox Church’s Holy Synod Committee of Monasticism and Monastery Affairs.
The defrocked monk is 34 years old, had taken orders in 2010 at the Western Desert Monastery of St Macarius in Wadi al-Natroun, and was defrocked on 5 August 2018 for grave violations of monastic law. He was moreover charged by the prosecution with the murder of Anba Epiphanius, Abbot of St Macarius’s, on 29 July 2018. Mr Tawadros is now in police custody. The Coptic Church made it very clear that the defrocking decision had nothing to do with his implication in the crime, but was taken for strictly monastic reasons.
Mr Tawadros’s mother said that the Pope’s call, in which he expressed his deep care, gave her immeasurable comfort. The Pope also met the defrocked monk’s brother who is a monk too at a monastery in Upper Egypt.
The decision to defrock Ishaia’ al-Maqari, which was ratified by Pope Tawadros, had concluded with a plea to the defrocked monk to repent and correct his ways for the sake of his eternal life.
The Pope also made a call of comfort and support to the sister of the monk Falta’os al-Maqari; she is the only living member of his family.