Sunday 9 June saw Pope Tawadros II seat a metropolitan and consecrate four new bishops to Coptic Orthodox dioceses inside and outside Egypt.
The consecration ceremony took place at St Mark’s Cathedral in Abbassiya, Cairo. The ritual began during Vespers on the evening of Saturday 8 May, and was finalised during Mass the following morning.
Anba Antonious Marcos, Bishop of African Affairs, was made Metropolitan of South Africa. It has not been announced when the seating ceremony in his diocese will take place.
Four monks were consecrated as bishops.
Fr Boulos al-Baramoussi became Anba Boulos, Bishop of Eastern Canada; Fr Ilarion al-Baramoussi was consecrated Bishop of the Red Sea parish; Fr Mikhail al-Muharraqi was made Bishop Theophilos of Manfalout; and Fr Matta’os al-Akhmimi, became Anba Matta’os, Bishop and Abbot of the Monastery of the Holy Virgin in Akhmim.
Early this morning, Pope Tawadros II started Mass at St Mark’s, which was to include the final ceremony of the new bishops’ consecration. Once the Praxis was read, the bishops-to-be entered the church in a procession, each flanked by two current bishops. They went up to the sanctuary where the consecration ritual and investment were conducted by Pope Tawadros.
The Pope said that Anba Antonious Marcos had served in Africa for over 53 years, first as a medical doctor, then as a monk and Bishop of African Affairs since 1976. Now that he is Metropolitan of South Africa, Pope Tawadros said, the Coptic Orthodox Church has five dioceses in the African continent: the Diocese of Pentapolis in Libya, under the jurisdiction of Anba Pachomius; that of Khartoum under Anba Iliya; Um Durman under Anba Sarapamoun; Kenya and other African countries under Anba Boulos; and now South Africa under Metropolitan Antonious Marcos with his extensive African experience.
Anba Matta’os, 56, is the first Bishop to be consecrated as Abbot for the monastery of the Holy Virgin in Akhmim’s Eastern Mountain, some 500km south of Cairo. The monastery was recognised by the Coptic Church as a thriving monastery more than 30 years ago, and includes some 50 monks. Until the current Abbot was consecrated today, the monastery was supervised by Anba Mercurius, Bishop of Girga.
Anba Matto’os has a degree in Education, joined the monastery in 1992, took orders in 2004, and was ordained a priest in 2007.
Anba Theophilos, 47, whose name as a monk was Fr Mikhail al-Muharraqi, holds a degree in Agriculture. He took orders in 1996 at al- Muharraq Monastery, some 360km south of Cairo, and was ordained a priest in 2003 and archpriest in 2017. He is now Bishop of Manfalout, 390km south of Cairo, a diocese that has an old, rich history.
Anba Ilarion, 53, holds a PhD in Chemistry, joined the desert monastery of al-Baramous in Wadi al-Natroun some 120km northwest Cairo, in 1999, took orders in 2001, and was later ordained a priest. He is now Bishop of the Red Sea parish, a parish that spreads some 1000km from north to south, and that includes numerous seaside resorts and parishioners of various nationalities. According to Pope Tawadros, Red Sea Governor Ahmad Abdullah showed special interest in who would be chosen as Bishop of the Red Sea diocese.
Anba Boulos, 47, is a medical doctor who joined the Baramous Monastery in 2001, took orders in 2004, and was ordained a priest in 2009. While in the monastery, he was responsible for the clinic and served in the monastery farm. He has been serving in eastern Canada for the past few years. The Pope explained that the Coptic diocese in Canada was established in 1964, and that Anba Boulos will now serve the new diocese of Eastern Canada. Canadian Ambassador to Egypt, Jess Dutton, sent a representative to attend on his behalf the consecration of Anba Boulos.
9 June 2019