The papal elections nomination committee has shortlisted the candidates for the papacy of the Coptic Orthodox Church, the papal seat of which has been vacant since the death of Pope
The papal elections nomination committee has shortlisted the candidates for the papacy of the Coptic Orthodox Church, the papal seat of which has been vacant since the death of Pope Shenouda III last March.
The short list includes five names, down from an original 16. The five include two bishops-general: Bishop General of Beheira Anba Tawodros, and Bishop General of Down Town Cairo Anba Raphail; as well as three three monks: Fr Raphael AvaMina, Fr Seraphim al-Suriani and Fr Pachomeus al-Suriani.
A press conference has been held at the Anba Bishoi monastery in the Western Desert, where the committee had been in retreat until it completed its task of shortlisting the candidates, to publicise the shortlist and announce the relevant details. The acting patriarch Anba Pacomeussaid that the shortlisting had been determined according to the personal characteristics of the candidates, the 1957 bylaws—still in force—for electing the Coptic Orthodox patriarch, and the “pulse of the Coptic street”. He thanked the committee for its efforts, and declared the full respect of the Church for the candidates who did not make it to the shortlist, saying that each of them was “they are indispensible for the Church, each in his respective position”.
The Coptic Church had declared a three-day fast two weeks ago in order to ask for the
Lord’s guidance in the committee’s shortlisting task. The Coptic Catholic Church and the Greek Catholic Church in Egypt joined in the fast.
During the second half of November, a Coptic electoral college will elect three out of the five names on the short list. The names of the three finalists will be placed on the altar during Holy Mass—scheduled for 2 December—and a draw will determine who among them will be the next patriarch of the See of St Mark. Currently, Anba Pachomeus, Archbishop of Beheira, acts as interim patriarch.
A three-day fast will precede each of the two events: the elections and the draw.
The photo shows the five candidates. Clockwise from above left: Anba Tawodros, Anba Rafail, Fr Rafail, Fr Pachomeus, and Fr Seraphim.
13 October 2012