edited September 2013 in Coptic Orthodox Church


  • I dont' know the answer to any of this, but I'll ask another question:

    What does it mean when it says that Heg. Mercurious El Gawly was ordained  a general bishop to assist the patriarch? Is this used in the same sense we use general bishop today?

    What I mean is, today we have general bishops caring for dioceses pretty mush as if they where the bishop there, and we have general bishops with services like education and youth that span the patriarchate rather than being confined to a diocese. In both cases, the general bishops do not have a diocese in the traditional sense of the word.

    Now, if a bishop is old, and needs assistance it is not uncommon to ordain an auxiliary bishop, that is a bishop to assist THE bishop of a diocese. Unlike general bishops as we know them today, such a bishop does have a diocese, they are not homeless. Normally they expectation would be that they would be made the bishop of that diocese once the elderly bishop they are assisting departed. The Roman Catholics do this all the time. I've been told that some elderly bishops in the Coptic Church have bishops assisting them today. At some points in time such bishops might have been ordained a khouriepiscopos instead of a bishop, at other times when that order was in disuse, just bishops attached to the diocese but subordinate to the bishop of the diocese.

    In the second case you mention, again, it seems they were ordained for the diocese of Alexandria, but not given the title of Patriarch or Archbishop, but the lesser title Metropolitan, and then later were given the full title. This seems to me to be a misunderstanding, since be definition the bishop of Alexandria is our Archbishop, our Patriarch, or Pope.

    However, in each of these cases it seems that bishops were ordained for the service of the see of Alexandria, assisting the Patriarch there, or as the bishop there without the full title, and then made the proper bishop of the see. That is something quite different from taking a general bishop who is acting as the de facto bishop of a diocese and making them the bishop of Alexandria. If the a general bishop is caring for a dioses, and they are transferred to the more prominent see of Alexandria, how is this different than transferring an enthroned bishop in terms of the principle of avoiding ambition?

    One could make the argument that the bishop of education or youth is an auxiliary bishop to Alexandria, assisting the Pope in that area, so it would be natural to consider making them the bishop of Alexandria, or selecting another and leaving them as auxiliary.

    One could also make the argument that a general bishop caring for a diocese is an auxiliary to Alexandria, helping the Pope to govern a diocese without a bishop... but that seems like more of a stretch to me since they are governing a diocese that is not Alexandria. Also, in this mindset we seem to be one small step from the chaos some of the other Patriarchates have where every bishop is an auxiliary bishop to their Primate, with no real authority. Then you end up with a dictatorship like the Antiochians in America under Met. Philip.
  • Does anyone have an idea when the final list of 5-7 nominees will be published?
  • [quote author=minasoliman link=topic=13589.msg158725#msg158725 date=1344557444]
    Does anyone have an idea when the final list of 5-7 nominees will be published?
    I would like to know this too.
  • As of today, the names are supposed to be finalized by September 4th. Of course this can change depending on complications and appeals.
  • For those of you still following the debate raging currently on the Synod level regarding the election of Diocesan bishops, H.E. Met. Bishoy has published a response to H.G. Bishop Serapion's research dated July 12th and titled "The Selection of a Patriarch: Lessons from the History of our Glorious Church". Metropolitan Bishoy's 10 page response is only available in Arabic. Below is my own translation of it:

  • ^What do you think of this whole situation, RamezM?
  • Dear Severian,

    Thanks for asking. The translation I made was to give a comprehensive access to those who can't read Arabic to everything that is being written and said. Without speaking too bluntly of what I think of H.E. Met. Bishoy's writing and agenda, I will simply let his own words speak for him. As many of us, I am eagerly following the research and ideas presented by the bishops (H.G. Bishop Serapion, H.G. Bishop Youssef, and H.E. Met. Bishoy). Of course I pray that in the end God may guide those who are in positions to make decisions so that they empty their hearts of all agendas, passions, and ambition for one nominee or another, so that they can be better able to cooperate with the Holy Spirit and allow God to speak in their hearts, leading ultimately to a choice according to God's will.

    There are a lot of details that have been discussed officially as well as unofficially (on this website for example) that I am afraid I should not delve into them in detail, just so we don't risk repeating the long and exhausting discussion from before. But in a nutshell, I worry about the future of the Coptic Church if the next Patriarch's canonicity is in any way questioned or doubted. I see no reason this time to violate any canons for alleged needs to instruct or correct in the Orthodox faith (the canon 14 exception). Finally, and most importantly, I would not want to see my Church struggle for more decades to come under a Patriarch whose theological positions are in any way suspect or are perceived to be nothing but in complete and wholehearted adherence to the Alexandrian and Orthodox Fathers, the Ecumenical Synods, and a well balanced ecumenical openness....the list can go on and on, and I am just trying to be as general and positive as I can. I am eagerly following the writings of Fr. Athanasius on canon15.ca. May the Lord bless his service and the people involved in this effort.

    Btw....love your signature "Teach Orthodoxy not Copticism" :)
  • ^Thank you. I think we are in agreement on this issue.

    Oh, and for the record, my signature was inspired by Jonathan.

    +Thanks :)
  • An update:

    Met. Bishoy published an English translation of his response, as well as his previous response to Anba Youssef. Both can be found here:

  • On further update, before the translation was released, Fr. Athanasius Iskander released his refutations of this latest paper written by the Metropolitan:

Sign In or Register to comment.