First new bishops consecrated by Pope Tawadros

On Sunday, 10 March, at St. Mark’s Cathedral in Cairo, His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, assisted by members of the Holy Synod, elevated seven priests to the episcopate. The chief priority in this first batch of new bishops was  the provision of bishops for areas of Coptic population and the re-oganisation of dioceses in Egypt. Father Epiphanius el-Makary was consecrated Bishop-Abbot of the ancient Monastery of St. Makarios in Wadi el-Natr’un, under the name of Bishop Epiphanios. For a number of years this monastery, under its spiritual guide, Father Matthew the Poor, had pursued a rather distinctive form of monasticism, but this appointment of a new Bishop-Abbot marks the final stage of the process of reintegrating it into the Coptic mainstream.  Fr Makar el-Baramousy was consecrated as Bishop of 10 Ramadan city (population 450,000+) and its vicinity in Sharqiya Governorate, east of the Delta, under the name Bishop Makar. Father Saleeb el-Samueli  was consecrated as Bishop Samuel, Bishop of Tamouh,  El-Badrashein, El Hawamdiah (all south of Giza) & affiliate jurisdictions and Father Yulius Ava-Mina  was consecrated as a general bishop in Cairo.

When Metropolitan Domadios of Giza (the ancient Memphis), died in September 2011 he had ruled the diocese for some forty-eight years, during which the population had expanded enormously. Although for the latter part of his ministry, Metropolitan Domadios was confined to a wheel chair as the result of a stroke, his diocese not only expanded with a huge church building programme but it was also an outstanding example of both spiritual and charitable activities. It was now decided to divide this huge diocese into four smaller smaller dioceses.  Fr Yu’annis el-Suriani  became Bishop Yuhanna, Bishop of North Giza;  Father Zosima el-Antony was consecrated as Bishop Zosima of Etfeeh (Aphroditopolis) &  El-Saff. Father Zakaria el-Suriani, was consecrated Bishop of 6 October City and Uossim, and chose to take the name of Bishop Domadios in honour of the late Metropolitan.

Bishop Theodosius, who had been consecrated in 2009 as a General Bishop to assist Metropolitan Domadios, was now appointed as Bishop of Central Giza.  Two other long-standing General Bishops were also now appointed as diocesan bishops: Bishop Boutros, head of Aghapy TV, who was originally ordained a chorepiscopos in 1979 and a General Bishop in 1985, serving as an Auxiliary in the diocese of Ismailia 1985-1998, was  enthroned  as Bishop of Shebin al-Qanater (an area of northern metropolitan Cairo, comprising 36 villages in the Governorate of Qalyubia); and Bishop Daniel, who was consecrated as a General Bishop in 1991 and served as Assistant to the diocese of Gherge 1991-93, and looked after the south Cairo suburbs of Mahdi & Kotsika since 1963, has now become diocesan bishop of the same area.

An important appointment for the lands of the diaspora was the provision of a Bishop for Canada. Bishop Mina, who had been ordained as a General Bishop in 2009, with responsibility for Old Cairo since 2010, was been appointed as Bishop of Mississauga, Vancouver and Western  Canada.