Papal Selection

edited December 1969 in Faith Issues

The passing of Jean Paul II got me thinking about how Popes are selected. I've read up on the Catholic tradition of the Conclave but couldn't find anything on the Coptic tradition for papal selection. Does anyone know the details of how a Coptic Pope is selected?



  • from what i heard is that they have a raffle for the archbishops and then thats chosen who is the pope
  • I think three archbishops are choosed and then they do a prayer or liturgy and then they put the names of those three archbishops on the altar, and that a little child chooses a name from that, and he becomes the pope.

    tht's the story i heard after Pope kyrollis passed away, and Pope Shenouda was chosen.
  • I heard something like that as well. Is it true they put a blank piece of paper in and, if that is chosen, then God didn't want any of them to be Pope?
  • Actually, I believe here's how it works:
    A council convenes and nominates some number of metropolitans/bishops (I don't know how many nominees there are). Then, a special mass is prayed in which the names of the nominees are placed on the altar. At the end of the mass, a young deacon randomly selects one of the names and that person is the one deemed chosen by God to become the next Pope.

    I was trying to find some literature on this as well, but haven't found anything yet. If I do, I'll post it. But in any case, I think the above is the general idea.
  • ok, from what I understand, the Holy Synod selects three possible candidates from the monastic order (as in monk, bishop or metropolitan), and then after several days of prayer from the coptic people, and clergy, a small kid selects one of the three names during Divine Liturgy. It does not necessarily have to be bishop or metropolitan as seen in the case of Pope Kyrollos who was a monk (Abouna Mina el Baramousy) directly before he became pope.
  • thanx 4 sharing that guys
  • The Holy Ecuminical councile gathers after the departure of the Pope (God bless H.H.) After vigilant prayer and fasting the council begins a process of recommandations of Bishops and Priests in the monastic order. Mass are raised daily till the Holy Spirit chooses the final three names. This is called the official selection lottry, in which all the Coptic Orthodox Churches around the world raise their voices together to the Lord on high asking for Guidance. After the mass in the Cathedral of St. Mark in Cairo, the oldest Bishop of the counil chooses a child (The symbol of purity) and the child handpicks a name. The person selected for the position of Papacy cannot reject the Order as it is of God. (In the last lottery it was. H.H. Pope shounda known as H.G. Bishop shenouda, abouna Matthew the poor, and I believe H.G. Anba Timethaweis);)
  • also a very important point is that the nominee for the papacy must be general bishop. They cannot be bishops on a diocese. Like H.G Bishop David is a general bishop while there graces Bishop Yousef and Serapion are (i dont now the english word) oskof korsee. Because a diocese bishop is assigned to that diocese for life.
  • ^ hey guys check out this site it has everything you need to know about how the pope is selected!! GB+
  • Hey Youstina,

    Thanks for the link, but that is how the Catholic pope is chosen. The Coptic pope is chosen a different way.

  • oh...sorry...i thought you guys were asking about the catholic pope
  • hey MarMarNeMaTaLLa

    Wasn't H.H Pope Shenouda the Bishop of Education before he became the Pope?

    i'm not too sure, but i dont think that the choice is limited to general bishops.

    Anyone please feel free to correct me on this and double check!

    take care and God bless
  • Crazycopt,
    marmar is right, he can't be "married" to a diocese. Pope Shenouda, when he was a bishop, there was no Bishopric of education. On the other hand, H.G. Bishop Youssef is the Bishop of the Bishopric of the Southern Diocese of the US. Bishop Sarpion was the Bishop of Public, Ecumenical and Social services before he came here, a bishop, "married" to a bishopric can not be moved, that's why the pope has to be a general bishop. Also, if you guys notice, H.H. Pope Shenouda now, for the most part, ordains General Bishops.
    As usual my 2 cents
  • oh, i thought H.H was Bishop of Education or somthing like that, guess not...

    thanks for clearing that up ;D

    take care and God bless
  • I think HH was actually Bishop of Education. I think, however, that this role still falls within the "General Bishop" category in that he was not "married" to his post of Bishop of Education. I may be wrong, but I believe Bishops can only be "married" to specific geographic regions as Anba Youssef is Bishop of the US Southern Diocese, and so on.

    Posts such as Bishop of Education, Bishop of Youth and so on do not exclude the bishops from becoming candidates for becoming popes.

    Please do correct me if I am wrong though.
  • ur perfectly right yea khal
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