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Stavro, you give the example of Giza: that is about to be subdivided because it is too big.
eep in mind Pope Tawadrous, years ago I believe, was involved in the delegation sent to Australia to try and fix the problems with Anba Danial. Perhaps he foresaw something similar on the horizon from the large churches in the GTA and chose to avoid clustering all the powerhouses together.
I agree that the GTA is small relative to other dioceses but keeping in mind the heavy finances, and the fact that churches in the GTA, let alone Canada, have been without a bishop since their inception 4 decades ago, it makes the situations in those churches all the more challenging/complicated.
Yet, on the other hand, if the bishops are diocesan, this will decrease the authority of the Pope + general bishops in the Synod, which is a good thing.
If a paralyzed metropolitan, who has lost the ability to take care of himself let alone a diverse diocese, was able to let the Spirit work miracles through his weakness, then I think a fit bishop should have no excuse. Anba Domadius was a write-off by human standards. In his early years, he was the strongest character in the Church, and HE served the flock of Christ in Giza with success. When he was paralyzed due to a stroke, his service became even more successful.
It is the Spirit, and not the managerial abilities of the bishop that makes a difference.
Giza was divided to avoid having a bishop with some authority because of the size of his diocese. Australia is a prime example of the total absence of leadership which would handle the powerhouses efficiently. Ordain a saintly celibate man as a bishop and everything will be fine. Give a humble man the Spirit through the laying of hands and it will be turned around no matter what giants he is dealing with.
Let us remember that when Pope Kyrillos was ordained, he was surrounded by heavily corrupted bishops. They plotted to strip him him of his rank. They were all killed, 12 bishops in one year, by the mighty hand of God who delivered his saint from their conspiracies. It just needs a saint, not a manager.
My understanding is that there are bigger problems than just "total absence of leadership". I presume you are referring to the Diocese of Sydney, not the Diocese of Melbourne.
Please don't get into any of those problems...
Also, I do not think the "type" of bishops matters. In our age, any bishop, whether he is of the general, diocesan or floating type, can be moved around between dioceses, suspended from service, returned after suspension, allowed to take a leave of absence or even resign.
The relation between the bishop and his flock is not considered anymore an eternal relation that is only broken by death or adultery, spiritual (heresy) or physical. The bishop is no more than a manager of a certain area.
As for the ratio of bishop / churches:
By the end of the 7th century, after 200 years of cruel and barbarian persecution by the Chalcedonians, followed by the brutality of the arab invasion, the churches in Egypt were estimated at 15,000 according to Abo El-Makarem Saad Ibn Gerges (Coptic historian) and by El-Makresi (Arab historian).
There were 168 dioceses at the time. This results in an average of 90 churches / bishop.
There was no technology or any fast communication methods and the bishop had to be phsycially present or write letters to communicate with his flock. They had no podcasts, facebook pages or teleconferences that can reach everyone instantenously.
Transportation within one diocese would require exhausting trips on donkeys or traveling by foot rather than airconditioned cars or first class flights with all the comfort it provides.
Persecution was at a peak with no media coverage whatsoever and no protection but God. Compare this to the relative luxury Copts enjoy in Egypt or the complete luxury they are immersed in outside of Egypt.
You would expect those Copts of the 7th century not to survive. Hey, they did not even have Sunday School, conventions or CYC.
The Church in the 7th century was by far stronger than now, with 90 church / bishop and adverse circumstances on all levels. Why?
Maybe they were filled with the Spirit and we are not. Maybe they were true men of God as opposed to managers graduating from the Sunday School movement.
Now, I do not care if they appoint a bishop for every church, or a bishop for the kitchen and another responsible for the A/C system within one church, but these managerial arrangements will never improve the service with the absence of the true ecclesiastical model.
As long as the service in the Coptic Church is considered a human endeavor that is based on human qualities, it will only improve by human standards. Big cathedrals, a meeting every six minutes in the church, huge financial resources, marketing and sales displays, service classes based on modern psychological "discoveries", marriage classes based on Freud and modern age theories, huge conventions, ... this sort of thing.
Only when we have properly ordained bishops who are united with God, commissioned by God and who God can use for His glory, the service will improve.
But most importantly, is Anba David gonna be relocated?