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CAIRO 18 Nov 2012 Coptic Pope enthroned
The successor to Egypt’s Coptic Christian Pope, Shenouda III, will be enthroned at St. Mark’s Cathedral. Two bishops and a monks are on the shortlist, and a bli

November 18, 2012 - NULL

CAIRO 18 Nov 2012 Coptic Pope enthroned
The successor to Egypt's Coptic Christian Pope, Shenouda III, will be enthroned at St. Mark's Cathedral. Two bishops and a monks are on the shortlist, and a blindfolded child will choose 118th pope from the three names in a box on the altar on Nov 4. Shenouda, leader of the Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt for four decades, died at 88 in March. His successor will be the 118th in a line of Coptic leaders that began with St Mark. The process for selecting the successor was moved forward by a month, reflecting

CAIRO 18 Nov 2012 Coptic Pope enthroned
The successor to Egypt's Coptic Christian Pope, Shenouda III, will be enthroned at St. Mark's Cathedral. Two bishops and a monks are on the shortlist, and a blindfolded child will choose 118th pope from the three names in a box on the altar on Nov 4. Shenouda, leader of the Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt for four decades, died at 88 in March. His successor will be the 118th in a line of Coptic leaders that began with St Mark. The process for selecting the successor was moved forward by a month, reflecting concerns about rising tensions between Egypt majority Muslims and the Copts, and recent attacks on Coptic churches. AlAhram reports that Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, a Muslim, will attend the enthronement

The finalists are: Bishop Raphael, a 54-year-old former aide to the late Pope and a member of the Church's Holy Synod, the Coptic Church's highest authority; Bishop Tawadros, a 60-year-old auxiliary bishop to acting head of the Coptic Church as well as being a member of the Holy Synod; and a monk from Alexandria, Father Raphael Ava Mina.

Reuters reports that many Christians, who make up about tenth of Egypt's 83 million people, are concerned by the rise of Islamists who swept to power in parliamentary and presidential elections. The turmoil in 2011 and 2012 that led to the ouster of then-president Hosni Mubarak has left them exposed to attacks and threats, exacerbated by the fury over the recent film clip denigrating the prophet Mohammad, which has been blamed on an Egyptian Coptic Christian.

The new pope might also have to tread carefully with Egypt's new Muslim government. Pope Shenouda fell out with late president Anwar Sadat in Sep 1981. The president summarily dethroned and banished Shenouda, born Nazir Gayed, to an ancient desert monastery. Mubarak, Sadat's successor, reinstated Shenouda as pope and life remained relatively peaceful for the country's Copts during Mubarak's government.

Search words: Coptic Christians, Egypt, elect pope, election of pope, Copts, Pope Shenouda III, Coptic Orthodox Church, successor, Coptic Church in Egypt, Bishop Raphael, Father Raphael Ava Mina, Bishop Tawadros, religion news, December 2012, Egypt, Middle East, Coptic minority, Christians, Egypt's Christians, November 2012

RELATED READING:

Egypt's Copts vote for successor to Pope Shenouda III (BBC 29 Oct 2012)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-20119626

CAIRO 14 Nov 2011 Copts celebrate 40th anniversary of ordination of Shenouda III as pope (WNF 14 Nov 2011)

http://www.newsahead.com/component/content/article/124-wnf-preview/1557-cairo-14-nov-2011-copts-celebrate-40th-anniversary-of-ordination-of-shenouda-iii-as-pope.html

Pope Shenouda III biography (Coptic Orthodox Church Network

http://www.copticchurch.net/topics/pope/

Muslims and Coptic Christians Clash Again in Egypt (NYT 15 May 2011)

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/16/world/middleeast/16egypt.html

Coptic Pope Shenouda calls Maspero victims 'martyrs', refutes SCAF story (Ahram 13 Oct 2011)

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/0/24091/Egypt/Coptic-Pope-Shenouda-calls-Maspero-victims-martyrs.aspx

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Date written/update: 2012-11-18