Egypt’s Coptic Church elects its new Patriarch

The Egyptian Coptic Church on Sunday (November 4th) elected Bishop Tawadros, as the 118th Patriarch to lead the Church. Born Wagih Sobhy Bakky Suleiman on November 4th1952 in the Delta region of Mansoura, the new pope will head the Church under the name Tawadros II. The new pope earned a degree in pharmacy from the University of Alexandria in 1975 and headed a state-run pharmaceutical factory until 1986. He obtained a clerical degree in 1985 and became a monk in 1988 at Saint Bishoy monastery in Wadi Natrun, northeast of Cairo. In 1997 he was consecrated bishop. His name was drawn out of a container, in which the names of three possible candidates had been placed, by a blindfolded boy. Tawadros II will be formally consecrated Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of All Africa in the Holy See of St. Mark the Apostle at a ceremony on November 18th. He succeeds Pope Shenouda III who died in March this year, aged 88.
* Originally published on A Week in the Horn – Nov. 9, 2012 issue, titled “Egypt’s Coptic Church elects its new Patriarch”. Items from A Week in the Horn are re-published here with a permission to do so.

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