Five Candidates for the Papacy Chosen

At a press conference at St. Bishoy’s Monastery in Wadi El Natrun on 13 October, His Eminence Metropolitan Pakhomious, acting Patriarch, and the members of the Candidates’ Selection Committee (which has been in retreat at the Monastery since 4 October), announced the names of the five candidates, whose names will go forward for election on 24 November.

pope-candidatesThey include two General Bishops, Anba Tawadros, who has served as Assistant to Metropolitan Bakhomious in Damanhur and Anba Raphael, General Bishop for Central Cairo and assistant Bishop for Youth. Both bishops were consecrated to the episcopate by Pope Shenouda on 15 June 1997. The other three candidates are all priest-monks: Abouna Raphael Ava Mina disciple of the late Pope Cyril VI, Abouna Bakhomious El-Souriani and Abouna Seraphim El-Souriani.

The absence of any diocesan bishops in this list has abated concerns in the church that the election of diocesan bishops is uncanonical and against the fundamental traditions of the Coptic Church. But calls to change this procedural ruling continue.

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