The Coptic Orthodox Holy Synod’s Committee for Monasticism and Monastery Affairs has issued a decision to defrock two monks who had taken orders at St Macarius Monastery in Wadi al-Natroun in Egypt’s Western Desert.
In a statement titled: “Defrocking Decision”, the Committee announced that the monk and priest Yacoub al-Maqari was defrocked from both the priesthood and monkhood, and stripped of his monastic name for having “refused to submit to the decisions of the Committee for Monasticism and Monastery Affairs, and for disobeying the bishops delegated by Pope Tawadros; also for acting in a manner that degrades monkhood”. He should, the statement said, go back to his original lay name: Shenoua Wahba Attallah Giorgios.
Yacoub al-Maqari had founded a monastic settlement in Wadi Natroun, which he named the “Monastery of the Holy Virgin and Anba Karass”, but which was never recognised as a monastery by the Coptic Church.
The other monk to be defrocked is Ishaia’ al-Maqari, on account of violations he committed to the monastic laws, according to the statement. He goes back to his pre-monastic lay name of Wael Saad Tawadros Mikhail.
The Committee statement warned everyone against dealing with the two men.
4 August 2018