How is a priest stripped from their priesthood (Are there prayers said)?

How is a priest stripped from their priesthood (Are there prayers said)? It would be great if someone could find a video of it happening thanks.


  • I actually have never thought about it, nor have I ever seen prayers for it. As as to someone who is excommunicated or rebels against the faith. Which would make sense because you are lessing the status of that person...why would they be happy with that?!

    While there are canons to follow, they always conclude is stating the result publicly in one way or another, at least to other clergy to implement the ruling.
  • On the same topic: I read that they are looking to excommunicate the priest. My question is a general question: What warrants excommunication by the Coptic church?
  • Since my identity is anonymous here I will throw in my 2 cents. I know the man's family and I can honestly say his son is one of the most genuine people you can meet. I was deeply shocked and terribly saddened when I saw the accusations. That being said it became very difficult not to believe the accusation after reading the comments on social media. It seems like multiple bishops handled the situation in an appalling way and it seems we're no better than the Catholics in this regard. I hope God answers my question as to why the church handled the situation this way
  • edited July 29
    > @minatasgeel
    As as to someone who is excommunicated or rebels against the faith. Which would make sense because you are lessing the status of that person...why would they be happy with that?!

    Why does the Coptic church need "status" to begin with? Provided that Jesus Christ decided to be incarnated as an actual human and that he himself flipped tables and challenged the authority of the pharisees, why do we even need hierarchical statures right now? In my opinion, It just gives "fallible humans" an opportunity to abuse their authority.  
  • edited July 29
    Children are unlike their parents and I would really hope that we, as a 21st century Coptic community could do away with the archaic tradition of blaming the offspring for the parents' sins. The anonymity of one's identity should not cloud one's judgement, I would never expose my identity seeing how that would negatively affect my (very religious and church-going) family but if my identity were to somehow be exposed, that still would not change my views (especially not since I've came out to my family as an atheist). The Coptic church's "leaders" need to learn a thing or two about accountability and humility. They need to apologize for any damage done through them as an institute and hand the accused parties to the relevant authorities for investigation and/or incarceration instead of allocating them to different parishes. The accused priest's son has no business with his father's sexual assault and rape charges but the priest himself has much to atone for considering that even his (biased) peers cannot fend for him after 17 years of swiping the issue under the rug and a very condemning investigation.

    And, I'm not "God" but I can give my 2 cents as to why the church handled the issue in such an appalling manner, since, well, I'm also anonymous (not that I would change my views anymore regardless since I'm already "out" to the people that matter to me) - the church is first and furthermost, an earthly institute - pope Tawadros also reiterated that in an interview before, and like every other institute, it has its corrupt people in power. Whether you believe that god punishes people for their transgressions in this world or the afterlife, he would still allow evil to flourish in this world. Fact of the matter is, your leaders are incompetent and fallible and the Coptic church needs many more reforms before they could once again establish trust in their so-called leadership. 

    Edit: And for goodness sakes, can we not censor the names of the accused and the victim? The sex offender priest's name is Rewis Aziz Khalil and the victim's name is Sally Zakhari. Let their names be engraved in your heads as a failure of the church to protect the people who placed their trust in it.
  • edited July 29


    I almost forget that you are only come with controversy...yet to give this or any other controversy time and attention is just a waste of precious time.

    You are incorrect about “that he himself flipped tables and challenged the authority of the pharisees.” Christ didn’t flip the table to take away their authority or the hierarchy but to renew it and remind them of their original purpose, which is to keep the people near God through the Law and the commandments until He comes. If Christ didn’t believe in the priesthood, why would He establish the Church and the Apostles and the Seventy specifically with a purpose and certain authority and power (ones that are characteristics that are specific to God Himself, like forgiving sins)?! Why would He sometimes tell them something specific and private that is not told to everyone else?! Why would the Holy Spirit ONLY come down upon those few and are commanded to go, make disciples…even though He CAN and would make everyone disciples...they weren't the only ones that had true faith in Him?!

    These are all topics that have to do with Christianity and not this specific incident. And it’s already clear where you stand, so we are not going to discuss all these topics here or anywhere on the forum, again. You can keep doing that on reddit for your own benefit.

    Concerning this specific situation. No one is scared to mention any one’s name. You failed to mention that his actual name is “Youssef.” And for you, or anyone else in fact, to say that this is an unprecedented incident is by all means absurd. This happened before… priests and clergy have been laicized for such incidents that are worse and not as bad than what happen with Sally. Her case is in no way unique or exceptional, yet it is sad on how long she had to wait to get justice. It’s not proof for the Church’s failure, while there was failure in dealing with this…but it’s for sure proof that social media simply makes everyone a one-sided-judge that can only see what’s made public and acts on everyone else’s comments rather than a justice system.

    Something to keep in mind:

    The Church has survived and will continue to survive as long as Christ exists and is protecting her

  • edited July 29

    I could say the same on my side; I almost forgot this site existed. This site is now one of my very few non-familial connections to the Coptic church (note that I don't mean by that my Coptic community or identity) and it took a tragedy (as opposed to controversy) to remember to come back here again. And an FYI, we let many Coptic theists get away with much, much less than what I did and said on this site for over 2 years before we got some actual complaints from our users.

    Anyway, it would be preposterous to say Sally's case was the first ever case of sexual assault in our parishes - look up @theburningbush20 on Instagram, but even a devout believer should ask themselves why the church never issued an actual public, "honest to God" apology for the damage caused through them. If we dig deeper down into the issue we would see that the 'black robes' garner a profound respect from certain statistically-significant members of the community, to an extent that a handful (and that's me being VERY generous and positive) would absolve them of any sin. It just so happened that Sally was vocal and actually blackmailed the church into releasing its investigation on (I'm sorry) YOUSSEF Khalil. I'm just appalled that a bunch of adult men (and this is me trying my best not to cuss them so I don't get strawmanned for this because I believe they do deserve to get reprimanded for their actions) decided to harass her on a Zoom meeting. I suppose these events led her to release the investigation either way and I'm deeply saddened that she had to get pushed so far and that the head of the church decided to hide behind the excuse of "national unity" to protect his image. It's as if, anyone who would decide to rationally criticize the Coptic church is threatening to divide the Coptic church from the rest of Muslim Egypt, even if they were, you know, a religious Egyptian Orthodox Christian who happened to have the audacity to stand up for herself.

    About Jesus, the bible itself is entirely set up for personal interpretation if you believe in the original Orthodox traditions and/or if the Coptic theists that engage us on Reddit with relevant quotes from Church fathers were to be believed. What would make your interpretation of "reforming the institution" any different from my "anarchy"? I am not trolling and am genuinely curious about this and would like an answer from anyone who believes the bible is to "not be taken literally".   

    About social media, it only highlighted an issue that the church would have otherwise handled quietly and hidden under the rug, either by defrocking the priest and avoiding any sort of negative publicity - or by relocating him to a different parish away from the people he assaulted. Pope Tawadros was never shy of his scorn of social media and the people that have been pushed to such an extreme that they had to use it as a last resort. Christine Selwain's Australian Coptic Reform issue was and still is a painstaking testament to that. This is all I got to say for now. I just hope your so-called leaders pull their weight because recently, I've been hearing nothing but bad news from the Coptic church even in my personal life. 
  • edited July 29

    Again, to comment just on Sally's are simply commenting on what you know, which is one sided and is from Sally. This is not to say that there isn't truth there...but this is to say that no justice system in the world works this way, one where only one side is advertised to everyone to make their own conclusions…in addition, everyone and their mother who has ANYTHING against the church now speaks out. But, that’s ok. Every once in a while, people come out behind their screens to show their most-inner thoughts to public…and those comments can never ever be taken away or hidden after.

    And if you think that the Church was threatened to make the decision, and many others do so actually, that’s ok. Because that’s also one-sided judgement since the Church would never comment on this again.

    I’ll repeat:

    The Church has survived and will continue to survive as long as Christ exists and is protecting her.

  • I disagree on it being one-sided. The Coptic church's investigation (which I would argue has much to lose in terms of public image) which Sally released even incriminated the ex-priest in question and found he had multiple allegations and no alibi. Even if it showed no regard for the victim, it still incriminated one of its own  clergy so it's not one-sided. If anything, I've been a devout believer before so I can understand what it's like to be in the other person's shoes. Unfortunately, I can't say the same for many church-goers.

    The Church has survived and will continue to survive as long as Christ exists and is protecting her.

    I'm way past the point of caring for the church's survival. All I care about is that it not announce itself as a benevolent voice of god if it cannot issue a statement with two simple sentences "we're sorry for our failure. We'll strive to do better". All other measures are things they were supposed to take into account long ago from the Catholic church since it's also an institution.
  • edited July 30
    Hey CopticApostate, 
    we have to see if our hearts are really concerned with the victims as much as we are with the church issuing statements like a politician would so that we may point our fingers and say "see, the church is as fallible as political organizations" "Let's rip it apart and start all over". 

    I've come to recognize this tone and language over the years. And although these may not have been your specific words, it is the spirit I'm seeing in some comments. If i may say, with much respect, you clearly have a chip on your shoulder and animosity toward the church. If you have been wronged I pray you find healing.

    The church sympathizes with the victims more than anyone. If any part of the church hurts then the rest hurts with it. All the priests and bishops I know have been praying day and night for anyone who's been hurt and we've started a 3 day fast here with, church blessing, for the victims. People are fallible. People have a human nature, especially the priests. They are fought more than you and me. This priest was defrocked because he was not worthy of the priestly office after the crime and sin he committed. Let us pray for his healing too. Healing doesn't come through insults.

    The church isn't a political organization. Apologies are done in private and with prayer not in public so that we can satisfy some egotistical whim at making the church cower like individuals who would force others to kneel as we've been seeing in the media. This is fake and devoid of the spirit of true healing and love.

    If the church wishes to release a public apology then she may do so as well.

    I think you're more interested in seeing ecclesiastical structures torn down, again with all due respect.

    You keep referring to "men" and "patriarchy" as if they're bad things. Like anything else, if its practiced badly then it is bad for everyone. You've isolated half the population and committed what you're supposedly fighting against.

    You refer to Our Lord Jesus Christ as a trailblazer. Great. So why did he ordain only men? Why didn't he ordain women among the 12? Why did He stop at that? Did He get to that point and simply become scared of social norms?
    These disciples and apostles were men and the first ordained bishops. They sacrificed themselves, most having gone to horrific martyrdoms.

    This is the order of things. The thing that individuals like yourself still can't conceive is that God created a certain order based on our natures, yet all are equal. "There's neither Jew nor Greek". St Paul was referring to salvation as given to all.

    I haven't met anyone who wasn't happy about the priest's defrocking. And if they're against his defrocking then they're wrong and im sure they're in the minority and we leave it at that. 

    He wasn't worthy. He sinned and committed a crime and the church was right in defrocking him. Yet the church, however horrific his sin and crime may be, has to seek after the lost ones and bring them to repentance.

    Embark on a journey of healing. Refuse to spend the rest of your life in bitterness.
  • @ArmenianCoptic

    I think you misunderstood my statements.I do hold the church in contempt over other issues but that is not my reason for being here on this thread. I will denounce any action taken to sweep sexual abuse issues under the rug, regardless of the institution in question. The fact of the matter is, the church provided a man with the means to harm one (or more) people from the general public. It's not a matter that should be kept under wraps and dealt with in private if the victims want to speak out. After Sally posted her story, many more victims came out and gave their accounts. This is not an isolated issue and there should be some accountability and thorough investigations on these reports.

    Since then, many dioceses around the world released statements of the policies they want to implement. I do hope they follow through with the policies but until we see them being implemented, I can only see this as lip-service. These are policies that should have been implemented decades ago and not after one girl threatened to blackmail the church. You believe in the power of prayer and if that's how you show solidarity then cool, but 'prayer' should come second to not be a factor that inhibits physical action. For example, fasting 3 days won't help as much (or at all) as providing therapy for the victims.

    Make no mistake though, the church is a political institution. It holds influence over certain legal matters in Egypt and outside of Egypt, priests regularly endorse right-wing political figures and parties from behind the pulpit. I do have a problem with that but I'm digressing from the main issue.

    You keep referring to "men" and "patriarchy" as if they're bad things.

    I was referring to the priests on the zoom call and how that 'bullying' was an attitude unbecoming of well, adult men. At what point did I flip this topic to be about feminism? If you want to steer the topic of discussion that way then, no, I don't demonise masculinity as a physical or emotional trait. Yes, I demonise toxic masculinity, which is, sadly, very prevalent in our communities. Yes, I think the 'patriarchy' is a very outdated system that only ensures a narrow-minded view that ♂>⧬ based solely on physical attributes rather than mental.
    If Jesus couldn't see that then, I'm sorry, he's mistaken. He had also not denounced slavery, genital mutilation of both sexes and properly caring for our environment. So as a perfect being with foresight I would say he missed many issues plaguing our world.  

    > He wasn't worthy. He sinned and committed a crime and the church was right in defrocking him. Yet the church, however horrific his sin and crime may be, has to seek after the lost ones and bring them to repentance.

    By 'lost ones' do you mean the victims who loudly demand justice or the sex offenders? I'm going to assume you meant the latter. The church can bring the criminal back 'to repentance' but damage has been done, he needs to pay for his actions and he needs therapy. If therapy doesn't work then he needs to be kept away from children regardless of how the church perceives him. Ultimately, it's up to the victims whether or not to forgive the criminal and the institution that directly/indirectly enabled him.
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