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Coptic Church to choose altar boy that will choose next pope by lots
Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Church chooses the child who will pick the name of the next Coptic Pope by lots
Published in Ahram Online on 03 - 11 - 2012

One day before the lottery that will determine the new Coptic Orthodox Pope, Egypt's Coptic Church chooses Saturday the altar boy who will pick from three shortlisted candidates in a blindfolded drawing of lots.
The Church will randomly choose from among twelve altar boys, which are each between the ages of five and eight.
On Sunday that altar boy will be blindfolded and choose one of the three ballots, thus determining the Church's next patriarch.
The three final candidates are: Bishop Raphael, auxiliary bishop of central Cairo and Heliopolis and former aide to the late Pope Shenouda III; Bishop Tawadros, auxiliary bishop for Beheira and auxiliary to Archbishop Pachomios; and Father Raphael Ava Mina, a monk at Alexandria's Mar Mina Monastery.
The procedures of the lottery, which are supposed to represent God's choice for the new Pope, is controversial, with some critics within the Church saying the practice has no spiritual or legal basis. They point out that the method has been used to select a papal successor only ten times since first having been introduced by the Church in the eighth century.
Egypt's former Pope Shenouda III died in March at the age of 89. He had held his position since 1971.

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