Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

11/6/2012 (3 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 (3 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'


Copyright 2015 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for April 2016
Universal:
Small Farmers: That small farmers may receive a just reward for their precious labor.
Evangelization: African Christians: That Christians in Africa may give witness to love and faith in Jesus Christ amid political-religious conflicts.



Comments


More Middle East

You won't believe how ISIS INCREASES brutal attacks across Iraq and Syria Watch

Image of ISIS continues its rampage across the Middle East (Reuters).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A car bomb and two smaller blasts exploded in Baghdad, killing at least fourteen adults and children. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to Daily Mail, the largest bomb was planted in a parked car.When it detonated, eleven people were killed and at least ... continue reading


'Forgive them': ISIS' brutal and raw torture shared with the world (WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT) Watch

Image of Stories of ISIS brutality travel around the world (ISIS propaganda film).

By Matt Hadro (CNA)

The stories were graphic, brutal and raw. New York City, N.Y. (CNA) - One account told of a couple whose children had been captured by ISIS militants. When they answered their door one day, they found a plastic bag on their doorstep. It contained the body parts of ... continue reading


Mad Max style missile strike destroys ISIS suicide bomb truck Watch

Image of ISIS suicide truck destroyed (Youtube).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Footage captured Kurdish fighters destroying a Mad Max-like scrapyard ISIS suicide bomber truck in Syria in an amazing missile explosion. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The footage caught an ISIS suicide bomber truck driving along a dirt road when suddenly a ... continue reading


Deadly tension erupts in Iraq - but DOESN'T involve ISIS? Watch

Image of Religious-fueled fighting has been breaking out among areas free of ISIS.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Fighting in Iraq leads to 12 dead - but ISIS had nothing to do with the gunfire. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - News of ISIS-related acts of terror including bombings, rape and even threatening social media have splashed headlines for quite a while, but what else ... continue reading


Documents reveal who is buying the most ISIS oil - and you won't guess who it is! Watch

Image of ISIS relies on oil sales to fund its operations. Just who is buying all the oil is surprising.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The Wall Street Journal has published their report on documents released by the U.S. government detailing the raid that killed ISIS's top money man. Abu Sayyaf was the official oil man for ISIS, generating over a million dollars a day for the terror organization, even ... continue reading


Saudi Arabia's $10 billion gambit isn't for friendly purposes Watch

Image of Obama is eager to appease the Saudis, but this may not be in the best interest of the American people.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Saudi Arabia is taking out a $10 billion loan to offset losses caused by collapsed oil prices, a condition the conservative Islamic monarchy has created for itself. Saudi Arabia is beginning to consider changes to its economy that will shift the nation away from oil. ... continue reading


How is the U.S. going to help Christians in danger of genocide? Watch

Image of Christians are in danger of genocide in the Middle East (America).

By Matt Hadro (CNA/EWTN News)

Now that the U.S. has declared that the Islamic State is waging genocide against religious minorities in Iraq and Syria, what will be done to help the victims move forward? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - That was the question at an April 19 congressionalWill the ... continue reading


ISIS brutally butchers 250 women for refusing to become sex slaves Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Two-hundred and fifty women have been brutally slaughtered by the Islamic State for refusing to become sex slaves to the terrorists. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - After refusing to accept the "temporary marriages" and the "sexual jihad" being forced on them the ... continue reading


'I wish it was me not you,' Mother mourns over daughter's lifeless body Watch

Image of Syrian mother grieves for her daughter, who was killed during an air strike in Aleppo (barry Newsa/YouTube).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Air strikes in Syria continue to eat away at the ISIS population - but they have been destroying civilian lives as well. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A mother recently lost her daughter in a missile strike of Aleppo, Syria.The woman was recorded crying and ... continue reading


'When was it written?': Ancient grocery lists reveal truth about Bible Watch

Image of Literacy among the ancients may have been more widespread than previously believed (Michael Cordonsky/Israel Antiquities Authority).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Historians often argue about the age of the Bible. For all they've learned from the text, several questions remain. Was it written as events were happening or were stories passed down and eventually recorded? When, exactly, were the books of the Bible ... continue reading


All Middle East News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 16:11-15
11 Sailing from Troas we made a straight run for Samothrace; the next day ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 149:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 9
1 Alleluia! Sing a new song to Yahweh: his praise in the assembly of the ... Read More

Gospel, John 15:26--16:4
26 When the Paraclete comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 2nd, 2016 Image

St. Athanasius
May 2: St. Athanasius, the great champion of the Faith ... Read More