Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

11/6/2012 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The selection was narrowed down to three candidates and the decision was made by a blindfolded young altar server

In these challenging times it is important for all Christians to bear witness to the love and fellowship that binds them together, mindful of the prayer offered by our Lord at the Last Supper: that all may be one, so that the world may believe (cf Jn 17:21). I earnestly hope and pray that our continuing friendship and dialogue, guided by the Holy Spirit, will bear fruit in ever closer solidarity and lasting reconciliation

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

11/6/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Coptic, Coptic orthodox, Coptic catholic, Egyptian Chrsitians, Muslim brotherhood, Islam, Holy Family, Anba Tawadros. Pope Tawadros, Pope Benedict XVI, Deacon Keith Fournier


CHESAPEAKE, VA (Catholic Online) - The history of Christianity in Egypt dates back to the visit of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph to that land. (Matt. 2) It predates any claimed Islamic history. To the Christians who live in that historic land, the history of the Christian Church is the history of Egypt.

The Evangelist Mark brought the Gospel of Jesus Christ to Egypt in 61 A.D. and planted the Church there, deep in the soil of that land of martyrs and saints. Egypt has a proud, long, unbroken and vital Christian heritage. We must pray for and defend Christians in Egypt as hostility toward the faith grows under the new regime.

The majority of Christians in Egypt are Coptic Orthodox. The very word "Copt" comes from an early Greek name for Egypt. Christianity and Egypt have a long and holy history. Perhaps that is part of the reason why the persistent and accellerating persecution of Christians in Egypt is so reprehenisble. Their claim to live in this land is strong, vital and clear. 

We regularly cover the plight of our Coptic Orthodox Christian brethren in Egypt. They are heroic witnesses to the Gospel. Their suffering and shedding of their blood for the ancient faith should draw every Christian to our knees. It demands a response of support and solidarity from all who can help. Five lives were lost in skirmishes with militant Muslims as recently as October 28, 2012.

We have repeatedly urged our global readership to pray for Coptic Orthodox Christians and for Catholic Christians in Egypt in this critical hour. The presence of Coptic Christians in this ancient holy land is vital. Their presence precedes any Muslim claims. They are our brethren, joined to us in the bonds of Baptismal communion.

The beloved Coptic Orthodox Pope Shenouda III died in March at 88years old. The process of choosing his successor has been informed by prayer and prepared for by a three day fast of the faithful. It also followed an intense process of elimination of a group of candidates through voting.

The selection was narrowed down to three candidates and the decision was made by a blindfolded young altar server - in keeping with the ancient tradition of "casting lots". We find the biblical roots of such a practice recorded in the Acts of the Apostles when the Church at Jerusalem gathered to replace Judas:

"Therefore, it is necessary that one of the men who accompanied us the whole time the Lord Jesus came and went among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day on which he was taken up from us, become with us a witness to his resurrection."

"So they proposed two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also known as Justus, and Matthias. Then they prayed, "You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen to take the place in this apostolic ministry from which Judas turned away to go to his own place." Then they gave lots to them, and the lot fell upon Matthias, and he was counted with the eleven apostles." (Acts 1:21- 26)

In addition, Pope Shenouda had emphasized the ancient roots of the practice in one of his 2009 messages. He asked that it be used to choose his successor. He believed it ensured that "the choice of the Patriarch is really the choice of God".

So, his successor,was chosen in the Coptic Cathedral in Cairo, Egypt on Sunday and named the new Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of Mark. The selection took place in the context of a beautiful Liturgy.

The anticipated announcement was proclaimed from the altar, accompanied by Church Bells. It spread throughout the churches and was aired over television. Bishop Tawadros will be enthroned in a ceremony on November 18, 2012 as the 118th pope of the ancient Coptic Orthodox Church.  

Pope Benedict XVI sent a message to His Holiness Abna Tawadros, the new head of the Coptic Orthodox Church which is set forth below.

*****

His Holiness Anba Tawadros, Pope-elect of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of Saint Mark

I was filled with joy on learning of your election as Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of Saint Mark and I gladly extend to you and to the clergy and faithful of the Coptic Orthodox Church my good wishes and prayerful solidarity, asking the Lord to pour out his abundant blessings upon the lofty ministry you are about to assume.

I am confident that, like your renowned predecessor Pope Shenouda III, you will be a genuine spiritual father for your people and an effective partner with all your fellow-citizens in building the new Egypt in peace and harmony, serving the common good and the good of the entire Middle East.

In these challenging times it is important for all Christians to bear witness to the love and fellowship that binds them together, mindful of the prayer offered by our Lord at the Last Supper: that all may be one, so that the world may believe (cf Jn 17:21).

I thank the Almighty for the important progress that was made, under the leadership of your esteemed predecessor, in the relations between the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church, and I earnestly hope and pray that our continuing friendship and dialogue, guided by the Holy Spirit, will bear fruit in ever closer solidarity and lasting reconciliation.

May our heavenly Father fill you with peace and strength for the noble task that awaits you.

Benedictus PP. XVI

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for June 2015
Universal:
That immigrants and refugees may find welcome and respect in the countries to which they come.
Evangelization: That the personal encounter with Jesus may arouse in many young people the desire to offer their own lives in priesthood or consecrated life.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Middle East

HISTORIC - Vatican signs treaty with 'State of Palestine' in hopes of promoting peace Watch

Image of Vatican Foreign Minister Paul Gallagher along with Palestinian counterpart, Riad al-Malki, signed a peace treaty recognizing the

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Vatican Foreign Minister Paul Gallagher along with Palestinian counterpart, Riad al-Malki, signed a peace treaty recognizing the "State of Palestine." Signed in a ceremony in the Vatican, the goal is that the recognition will promote peace with Israel - as well ... continue reading


Women, children among the 120 civilians killed in Islamic State takeover of Kobane Watch

Image of The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, based in London said many of the dead were in their homes killed by rocket attacks. Others were struck down by sharp shooters as they tried to run away.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Re-entering the Syrian city of Kobane, long held up as a symbol of Kurdish resistance, Islamic State indiscriminately shot and killed dozens of women and children in a 24-hour period. The death toll hovers around 120, but that number may rise. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Is there an AIDs epidemic in Syria? Islamic State fighter donated infected blood which has spread to several other fighters Watch

Image of An Indonesian man, infected with AIDs, donated blood to the Islamic State, and was executed for it.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An Indonesian Islamic State fighter who was infected with AIDs has been executed by the Islamic State after he was accused of knowingly passing on the disease through blood donations. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The currently unknown Indonesian man ... continue reading


Two men brutally flogged by Islamic State for breaking Ramadan rules Watch

Image of The two men are shown kneeling in front of a group of ISIS commanders. One of the commanders is seen carrying a large whip.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Two men accused of breaking the fast during Ramadan are shown being brutally flogged by Islamic State soldiers in a new series of shocking photographs. LOS ANGELES, Ca (Catholic Online) - As released by the Islamic State Information Office of the State of the ... continue reading


Positive 'happy' Syrian social media campaign #SummerInSyria gathers shocking, heartbreaking images of dead children instead Watch

Image of Syria has been hit hard with a civil war over the last four years.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Summer in Syria online campaign, using the hashtag #SummerInSyria was meant to gather positive images of experiences in the country, despite four years of gruesome civil war. However, instead of gathering positive feedback from social media users, the #SummerInSyria ... continue reading


Kurdish militia sits north of Islamic State capital, awaiting Syrian offensive Watch

Image of So far the only group that has proved capable at defeating the Islamic State has been the Kurdish militias of Iraq and Syria.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While Kurdish militia units have had some recent success in their fight for survival against the Islamic State in northern Syria, a leader with the militia says they have no intention of attacking the Islamic State's capital of Raqqa, and such an offensive should ... continue reading


'Women are whipped, sold and stoned' Former female ISIS recruiter warns girls to stay away from ISIS Watch

Image of Many young girls [not pictured] run away from home to join ISIS.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Former female jihadi recruiter, responsible for gathering hundreds of susceptible European girls and delivering them to ISIS, now warns young women around the world of the horrifying reality they would be entering. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The 23-year-old ... continue reading


ISIS begins minting their own gold coins Watch

Image of The designs found on the coins include a symbol of seven wheat stalks, which is a reference to the Quran and a world map.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Terrorist group Islamic State or ISIS has reportedly began minting its own Islamic Dinar gold coins. The coins bear the inscriptions of the Islamist militant group. One gold dinar is valued at $139 in U.S. dollars. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Violence against migrants: World refugee population reaches 60 million Watch

Image of The Jesuits noted an outbreak of xenophobic violence in South Africa, where migrants from Malawi, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Burundi. Migrants were attacked and shops were looted, displacing 2,500 people.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The number of people who are living in other countries or are internally displaced in their own countries has surged to an unprecedented 60 million - equal to the population of the United Kingdom. According to the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for ... continue reading


Iran parliament chants 'death to America' while voting on bill to kill nuclear talks Watch

Image of Iranian legislatures have signed a bill that may force the nuclear talks between Iran and six other nations to be given up.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Another major setback has risen, and this time there may not be anything President Obama can do to create successful nuclear talks between the United States, Iran and five other nations. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This major roadblock comes from Iran's ... continue reading


All Middle East News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Genesis 21:5, 8-20
5 Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 34:7-8, 10-11, 12-13
7 The angel of Yahweh encamps around those who fear ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 8:28-34
28 When he reached the territory of the Gadarenes on ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 1st, 2015 Image

Bl. Junipero Serra
July 1: Miguel Jose Serra was born on the island of Majorca on November ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter