More than 300,000 flee Congo violence, complicating Ebola fight: UN    Trump blasts comments by ECB's Draghi, cites unfair competition    EU nations receive mixed scorecard on climate goals    France maintain perfect record with Renard's VAR penalty    Lampard likely to be named Chelsea boss, says Redknapp    Sanchez strikes as Copa holders Chile thrash Japan    Turkey orders arrest of 128 military personnel over suspected Gulen links: Anadolu    Syria says it does not want to fight with Turkey    Egypt's prosecutor-general issues statement on Morsi's death    Egypt's ousted president Mohamed Morsi dies during trial session    Boeing says engine issues the key factor to be resolved on 777X    Cairo's 'mother of Egyptian museums' set for revamp    500 mln euros allocated for Egypt-EU's 4-year cooperation plan: PM    Egypt's PM Madbouly visits NMEC and aqueduct in Fustat    Mobile app helps manage migraines    WHO panel decides not to declare international Ebola emergency    47,952 antiquities transferred to Grand Egyptian Museum: GEM project head    UPDATED: Sudan's state prosecutors charge Bashir with corruption    Inaugural squash    Shrimp spaghetti capsicum in hot tomato sauce    Towelkinis — a new beachwear trend    Young gameaholics?    The official ball    Khartoum's blame game    Malak back on the podium    "Bahary" is showing at the Mashrabia    Some of Seif Wanly's paintings are on show at Salama gallery    Don't miss the yoga workshop at the MACIC    Islamic State's new strategy — III    Unsustainable approach    Charity and social justice    On a stronger footing    Salma Al Saady Revisits World's Greatest Paintings    Misr Italia achieves EGP 2bn in sales of its projects in 5 months    Israel strikes Syrian targets after rockets fired at Golan Heights    Iran warns against any Gulf clashes, threatens oil would surpass $100 per barrel    Delek Drilling aims to start gas sale to Egypt by end-June    CBE allocates EGP 50bn for mortgage finance for middle-income people    Israel uses rubber bullets against Palestinians at Al-Aqsa Mosque    Hurghada starts banning single plastic bags use    Saudi Arabia celebrates Eid al-Fitr with 13 Arab artists    'Paranormal' loyal readers reveal expectations, fears over Netflix new series    Egypt releases 351 inmates on occasion of Sinai Liberation Day    CAF Champions League final total embarrassment    Egypt denies HRW's report on ‘Sinai 2018' operation    Al-Ashmawi extradited to Egypt    Tazkarty, online booking for AFCON tickets launched    Amending judicial regulations    

Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.

Papal choices
Published in Al-Ahram Weekly on 18 - 10 - 2012

A shortlist of five potential successors to Pope Shenouda III has been announced, reports Michael Adel
The Coptic Orthodox Church has announced a final list of five candidates -- Bishop Raphael of Central Cairo, Bishop Tawdros of Beheira, Father Bakhomious Al-Siryani, Father Seraphim Al-Siryani and Father Raphael Ava Mina -- from which the next pope will be chosen. On Tuesday, the Orthodox Church set 29 October as the date of elections, when three candidates will be chosen for the ballot. On 4 November, the new pope will be named, after a small boy at the church draws a card by lot bearing the name of one of the three contenders.
The acting pope, Bishop Bakhomious, told Al-Ahram Weekly the final list had been welcomed by the Coptic congregation.
"God will reveal his choice during the Altar Ballot," he said. "The Nominations Committee fulfilled its role and the Church thanks its members and appreciates their work."
Bishop Bakhomious made the final list of candidates public on Saturday at Bishop Bishoi's Monastery in Wadi Al-Natroun in front of the 18-member Nominations Committee of the Holy Synod, the General Lay Council and the Coptic Endowments Authority.
After the news conference committee member Edward Ghaleb told the Weekly: "All the candidates eliminated are good priests and have many supporters within the Church but we had to pare down the shortlist to five. It includes two bishops and three monks whose backgrounds have been thoroughly checked."
Nominations Committee Georgette Qillini told the Weekly: "Since the committee began its work we were guided by fear of God, the teachings of the Holy Book, our consciences and the interests of the congregation. We felt God's hand working with us at the committee; this was apparent in the internal peace during discussions and the ability to continue working non-stop for long hours everyday as a group guided by fear of God."
Many Copts, says Qillini, will be unfamiliar with the five candidates, especially the monks. Campaigns have been organised to introduce them to the wider congregation.
"We cherish the Church's interests irrespective of reasons or names," said Bishop Yoanas, secretary to the late Pope Shenouda.
Bishop Baphnotius of Samalut said he did not object to his own elimination: "The process of choosing the pope is based on the rules, traditions and customs of the Church".
A number of bishops avoided running for the top job because it comes at a time when Copts are facing many political and social problems. Bishop Beeman of Qos and Naqada said the 118th Coptic pope will take the helm of the Church at a sensitive time in the history of Egypt and the Coptic Church. He is expected to see "harsh days", he said.
During a visit to the Austrian capital Vienna, Beeman said the state will not interfere in the choice of the new pope and denied any pressure to choose a particular candidate. The Church, he continued, faces difficult times looking after its congregation in the current circumstances facing Egypt.
"The election cannot be manipulated," Beeman noted. "Everyone will remain alert and guard the ballot boxes. The name draw will be from a glass box and all the other folded papers will be opened after the winner is chosen."
Of the five shortlisted candidates Bishop Raphael is popular among fellow bishops and Copts in general, making him a strong candidate to reach the final stage of the Altar Ballot. Senior sources in the Church told the Weekly that Bishop Raphael had asked the Nominations Committee to cancel his candidacy but he was pressured to stay in the race.
Bishop Tawdros is supported by Acting Pope Bakhomious because of his help in serving the Beheira Diocese and his close ties with bishops in the Delta. Of the three monks, Bakhomious and Seraphim are from Al-Siryan Monastery. Father Raphael, of Mar Mina in King Mariout, was a student of the 116th pope, Kirolos VI.
Diocesan bishops, including Bishop Bishoi and Bishop Baphnotius, were excluded from the race upon the request of clergy in the US and Alexandria.
Sources tell the Weekly that the Church will ask Copts to fast and pray for three continuous days to help create a spiritual atmosphere in which God might intercede in choosing the three finalists for the Altar Ballot.

Clic here to read the story from its source.