Less than an hour ago, the name of the 118th Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St Mark was announced to be Anba Tawodros who has been Bishop-General of Beheira, Matrouh, and Pentapolis
Less than an hour ago, the name of the 118th Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St Mark was announced to be Anba Tawodros who has been Bishop-General of Beheira, Matrouh, and Pentapolis.
The name was picked by a blindfold child, the eight-year-old Bishoi Girgis Mossaad, who stretched his hand into a glass cup and picked one of the three names elected for patriarch: Anba Tawodros; Anba Raphael Bishop-General of Downtown Cairo, and Father Raphael Ava Mina.
The ceremony to choose the new pope began at 8:00am at St Mark’s cathedral in Abassiya, Cairo, where Holy Mass was to be celebrated. Before it began, the acting patriarch Anba Pachomeus stood on a stage in front of the sanctuary and held out the three names of the nominees, each written in bold on white paper, for the congregation to see. Each paper was then wrapped and placed in a small transparent plastic ball which was closed with tape and sealed with the seals of Anba Pachomeus and, as a blessing, the late Pope Shenouda III. The three balls were placed in a glass cup which was closed with white ribbons, sealed with red wax, and placed on the southwest corner of the altar.
Holy Mass began right afterward, with Anba Pachomeus presiding over the service. Special prayers were said to ask for Dive Intervention in the choice of the new pope.
Once Mass was over, the sealed glass cup was again brought on a table on the stage. Anba Pachomeus stood onstage, and 12 altar boys aged between five and eight were brought forward; one of them would be the boy who would draw out the name of the future pope. Their names were read out and placed in another glass cup, and the first in the line was called upon by Anba Pachomeus to draw a name from among the twelve. The name drawn was that of Bishoi Mossaad.
Anba Pachomeus read the part of the first chapter of the Acts of the Apostles which narrates the incident of the casting of lots conducted by the first Church to choose a replacement for Judas, to be counted among the Twelve Apostles; the choice was then Matthias.
Bishoi was then carefully and gently blindfolded by Anba Bishoi who asked the congregation to observe a minute of silence during which prayers would be raised for the Lord’s intervention to choose the new pope. He then held the scissors, drew the sign of the Cross, and cut the sealed ribbons.
The cup was opened and Bishoi stretched his hand and drew out one glass ball. Anba Pachomeus opened it, unfolded the paper inside, and held it up for everyone to see. The name drawn was that of Anba Tawodros. “Congratulations!” he told the congregation. “Your new pope is Anba Tawodros II. The first Anba Tawodros was the 45th pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church.”
The congregation cheered and chanted praises.
4 November 2012
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