A decision was today taken by the Committee for Monastic and Monastery Affairs (CMMA), affiliated to the Coptic Orthodox Holy Synod, to move six monks out of St Macarius Monastery in Wadi al-Natroun in Egypt’s Western Desert, and place them in six other monasteries.
The decision was taken within the efforts of Pope Tawadros II and the CMMA to discipline monastic life at St Macarius’s in the wake of the tragic death on 29 July 2018 of the monastery’s Abbot Anba Epiphanius who was killed by two St Macarius monks. One of the two monks was defrocked, but the Church insisted that the defrocking had nothing to do with his suspected crime, and was strictly owing to gross violations of monastic laws. The two monks have been charged with premeditated murder and their case will be seen in court.
The decision to move the six monks from St Macarius’s was taken following an extensive enquiry that involved 19 monks, conducted by four bishops representing the CMMA. The six monks belong to various age groups ranging from 30 to over 50, and had taken orders in different years. Two took orders in 2010 among a group that included the two monks charged with the murder of Anba Epiphanius.
The monks are to move to the monasteries of al-Surian and al-Baramous in Wadi al- Natroun; Mar-Mina’s in Maryout; al-Muharraq in Assiut; Mar-Mina’s in Abnoub; and the Archangel Michael in Akhmim. They were informed of the order to move, and accepted it in obedience.
It is expected that a new Abbot would shortly be appointed to St Macarius’s.
25 August 2018