The British Orthodox Church

within the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate

Five candidates for the Coptic Papacy named

At a press conference at St. Bishoy’s Monastery in Wadi El N’atrun on 13 October, His Eminence Metropolitan Bakhomious, the patriarchal locum tenens, 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. They 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, Abouna Bakhomious El-Souriani and Abouna Seraphim El-Souriani.

The absence of any diocesan bishops in this list will remove the wide concerns in the church that the election of diocesan bishops is uncanonical and against the fundamental traditions of the Coptic Church.

Commenting on this news, Abba Seraphim stated that he was impressed with the calm and dignified way in which the process of electing our next Pope has moved forward. It is widely recognised that much of the credit for this is due to the efficient administration of the patriarchal locum tenens. Against this ethos and with the prayerful and reflective response of the people entrusted with the awesome task of voting, one felt great confidence that the Holy Spirit would make His will for the Church known.  Only a spiritual leader selected in this way would possess the authority necessary to assume the heavy burdens of the papacy. Our prayers should also be for the candidates, that Gods will strengthen them in their faith and give them courage.

There will be a further three days of fasting on 19, 20 & 21 November, preceding the election.


Upcoming events

  • 19 April 2014
    • Joyous Saturday: Bournemouth
      Saturday Worship 10.00
      Paschal Vigil Liturgy 22.00
    • Eve of the Feast of Holy Pascha: Babingley
      Eve of the Feast of Holy Pascha (Orthodox Easter)
      4.00 -6.00 p.m A priest will be available for confessions.
      7.00 p.m. Divine Liturgy for Holy Pascha
  • 20 April 2014
    • Raising of Incense & Divine Liturgy: Doncaster
      Raising of Incense – 9:45am
      Divine Liturgy – 10:30am
    • Holy Pascha: Bournemouth
      Morning Prayer with Holy Communion 10.00
      Followed by Memorial Prayers, commencing at Church & continuing in
      Wimborne Road cemetery
    • No service: Babingley
      10.30 a.m. No service because of the celebration on Pascha Eve.


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