Papal finalist elections on 29 October, name drawing on 4 November

Tue, 16/10/2012

The Coptic Orthodox Church has announced that the papal elections would be held on 29 October instead of 24 November, and that the final draw between candidates would take place on 4 November instead of 2 December.

Bishop Paul, spokesperson for the papal nominations committee, said that there will be three days of fasting from 22 to 24 October and from 31 October to 2 November.

Candidates for the position include Bishop Tawadros, who holds the title of Auxiliary Bishop for the Holy Metropolis of Beheira, and Bishop Raphael, who holds the title of Assistant Bishop for Central Cairo. The other three candidates are all monks: Raphael Ava Mina, Pachomius al-Soriany and Saravim al-Soriany. They are holding a mass on Friday at the Virgin Mary Church in Maadi.

Pope Shenouda III died on 17 March 2012 at the age of 88. He was named the Coptic Orthodox Church’s 117th pope in 1971.

After the death of Pope Shenouda III, Bishop Pachomius of Beheira was appointed as the acting patriarch until the election of a new pope, as stipulated in the regulations of the church.

According to Coptic Church traditions, and also the presidential decree in 1957, the three finalists' names will be put in a draw and a blindfolded child will choose the name of the next pope.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

With God’s grace, the Papal Nominations Committee of the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church has thoroughly examined the list of 17 candidates for Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria. After giving each candidate much consideration, the list of 17 was reduced to a list of 5 names, which include:

His Grace Bishop Rofail, General Bishop for the Downtown Cairo Churches
His Grace Bishop Tawadrous, General Bishop in the Metropolitanate of El Beheira
Fr. Raphael Ava Mina
Fr. Seraphim al Souriany
Fr. Bakhomios al Souriany

The next step is to reduce this list of five candidates to only three through an election that will take place on October 29. The Coptic Orthodox Church around the world will observe a strict three-day fast from Monday, October 22 to Wednesday, October 24 to ask for God’s blessing and will in this election.

Once the election reduces the list to three candidates, the list will go through the Altar Lot process on Sunday, November 4 after the celebration of the Divine Liturgy. From this process, a single name will be chosen as the 118th Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria. The Coptic Orthodox Church around the world will observe a strict three-day fast from Wednesday, October 31 to Friday, November 2 to ask for God’s blessing and will in this process.

We pray that our Lord Jesus Christ guide us through this process and help us to choose a good shepherd for His church according to His will.

Candidates for the 118th Pope of Alexandria

Fr. Pakhomious El Souriany

Age: 49, Born in Aswan, Egypt – 1963

Education: B.S. Science & Education

Ordination: Ordained a monk in 1992, 20 years.

Profession: Math Teacher

Prior Name: Maged Makram Saleh Lawendy

Fr. Seraphim El Souriany

Age: 53, Born in Cairo, Egypt – 1959

Education: B.S. Biology, Ayn Shams University

Ordination: Ordained a monk in 1993, 19 years.

Profession: Research Lab in an American Medical Unit in Egypt

Prior Name: Aziz Ghaly Sabry Aziz

Fr. Rofail Ava Mina

Age: 70, Born in Cairo, Egypt – 1942

Education: Law Degree, Ayn Shams University

Ordination: Ordained a monk in 1969, 43 years.

Profession: Chosen as a personal deacon for HH Pope Cyril VI after graduation

Prior Name: Raphael Sobhy Tawfik

Bishop Tawadrous

Age: 60, Born in Mansor, Egypt – 1952

Education: Pharmacy Degree, Alexandria University, Seminary School Degree

Fellowship with International Health Institute, England.

Ordination: Ordained a monk in St. Pishoy Monastery 1988, and a General Bishop 1997

Profession: General Manager, Governmental Pharmaceutical manufacture, Damanhour

Prior Name: Wagih Sobhy Baky Soliman

Bishop Rofail

Age: 54, Born in Cairo, Egypt, 1958

Education: M.D., Ayn Shams University, Pope Shenouda III Seminary Graduate.

Ordination: A monk at Paramous monastery in 1990 under the name of Fr. Yostos,

Ordained a General Bishop in 1997.

Profession: Medical Doctor

Prior Name: Michael Aryan Halim

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