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 February 2016
Universal:
That prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild lives of dignity.
Evangelization: That married people who are separated may find welcome and support in the Christian community.



Comments


More Middle East

'Dam will burst' if West does not come to aid of Syrian refugees, King of Jordan warns Watch

Image of At least 80,000 Syrian refugees are now stationed at the Al Zaatari refugee camp. The camp only has the capacity for 60,000 people (Reuters).

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

King Abdullah of Jordan says waves of Syrian refugees into his nation have placed an overwhelming strain on his country's health care and education systems. The king says that his country is at a breaking point and that help must arrive before the "dam bursts." ... continue reading


ISIS COWARD! Suicide belt bomb maker confesses he would NEVER wear one Watch

Image of Twenty-two-year-old Jasim Mohammed Atti'ya is under arrest for his role in the attack on a government building in Kirkuk, in northern Iraq in November of last year (Fox News).

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

While he makes them - he freely confesses he would never use one - to forfeit his life for the "cause" of the Islamic State. That is the confession of an incarcerated suspect believed involved in a terrorist attack. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


ENGLISH-speaking young boy featured in ISIS' latest horror beheading video Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

ISIS has released another gruesome beheading video, but this time the executioner is an English-speaking young boy. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The young boy, who's identity and ethnicity has not been determined, is featured directly threating the United ... continue reading


Disabled jihadi executes 'spy' in new horrific ISIS images Watch

Image of ISIS releases images of three more murders (YouTube).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

ISIS has released several images depicting the crucifixion of one of three accused spies in Libya. Despite the obvious gore and lack of humanity, one executioner is shown in a wheelchair. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The images were released by propaganda group ... continue reading


Russia in cahoots with ISIS? Russian airstrikes target civilian oil facilities Watch

Image of Russia allegedly aiding Assad and ISIS by targeting civilian oil facilities (EPA).

By Thomas Heed (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Humanitarian group Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently (RIBSS) has stepped forward with claims that Russia's airstrikes have turned to civilian oil facilities that have no links to ISIS. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Daily Mail reported RIBSS' claims came ... continue reading


LOST GENERATION: Scores of Kosovo men, women leave to join fight with ISIS Watch

Image of Kosovo women usually join Islamic State to follow their radicalized husbands (Reuters).

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Yong men - and many young women, seduced by the lies promised by the Islamic State, have left their native Kosovo to join the terrorist organization. Parents are left with unanswered questions. Statistically, 300 men and 36 women have left the mostly Muslim country of ... continue reading


Revolting, twisted celebration: You'll never guess how people celebrated a 23-year-old's murder Watch

Image of The nauseating celebration was captured on camera (Mohammed Yasin Photography).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Two Palestinian women murdered a 23-year-old Israeli woman after attempting to break into a grocery store and setting up bombs around Beit Horon, a Jewish community in the West Bank. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to Times of Israel, grocer Mordechai ... continue reading


ISIS atrocities labeled as 'genocide' by European parliament Watch

Image of A Scottish university recently protested Islamic State's genocidal policies. Photo courtesy of the Strathcyde Telegraph.

By Matt Hadro, CNA/EWTN News

Europe's leading human rights body passed a resolution on Wednesday calling ISIS atrocities as "genocide," a week before the European Parliament will vote on a similar resolution. Strasbourg, France (CNA/EWTN News) - "States should act on the presumption that ... continue reading


AMAZING DISCOVERY: Ancient Babylonians tracked astronomical movements with great sophistication 1,400 earlier Watch

Image of The tablet is proof that Babylonians had the same general knowledge as Europeans who employed similar devices fifteen centuries later. Photo courtesy Trustees of the British Museum/Mathieu Ossendrijver.

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A tablet has proven that astronomers in the ancient society of Babylon had highly sophisticated methods for tracking the movements of the planets. The planet of Jupiter was considered a patron God of the Babylonian god of Marduk. The tablet, only a few inches ... continue reading


Crowd beats terrorist when suicide vest fails to detonate Watch

Image of The suicide vest (not shown) failed to detonate, leading to the terrorist's beating (AP).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A gunman detonated his belt in a Shia mosque in Saudi Arabia's al-Ahsa province during the religious group's Friday prayers. A second gunman began to shoot outside the mosque and attempted to blow himself up, but was stopped and beaten by the angry mob. LOS ANGELES, CA ... 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, Sirach 47:2-11
2 As the fat is set apart from the communion sacrifice, so was David ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 18:31, 47, 50, 51
47 the God who gives me vengeance, and subjects whole peoples to ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 6:14-29
14 King Herod had heard about him, since by now his name was well known. ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for February 5th, 2016 Image

St. Agatha
February 5: Although we have evidence that Agatha was ... Read More