Egyptian Chronicles: How Will the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria Choose its Pope ?? “Coptic Papal Conclave for dummies”

Sunday, March 18, 2012

How Will the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria Choose its Pope ?? “Coptic Papal Conclave for dummies”

How will the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria choose its next Pope after the death of Pope Shenouda III earlier on Saturday ? How will one of the powerful and oldest Churches in the world choose its leader , the Pope of Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria ?? 
The System in the Coptic Orthodox Church is different than the Catholic Church and its papal conclave as follows based on the patriarchal elections law issued in 1957:
  • After the death of the Pope , the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church will call the oldest bishop in the church within 7 days of the Pope’s death to choose a temporary pope “I do not know the correct term in English” till electing a new pope.
  • A committee will be formed with inone month of the Pope’s death from temporary pope and 14 members of the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church in order to prepare a list of candidates for the papal position based on recommendations.
  • The list of candidates should be published in 3 major Egyptian newspapers in Arabic.
  • The process or rather this stage should take 3 months. 
  • The numbers of candidates should not be less than 5 and not more than 6.
  • The Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church members “74 Bishops” besides representative the elders and the nobles of the Coptic societies from at least 60 dioceses in Egypt “12 from each dioceses” will elect the top three candidates from that list of candidates. “We are speaking about less than 1000 voters if I am not mistaken in my calculations.” 
  • When the final stage of elections reaches to 3 candidates , the Church will have a big public religious event attended by Christians and their children.
  • A blindfolded child will be picked up randomly from the public that will attend the ceremony.
The blindfolded kid in 1971 choosing the pope
  • That blindfolded child will pick the closed paper with the name of the next Pope. “The Choice of that random kid who will choose the next Pope is regarded as God’s will for the Egyptian Orthodox Christians”
And it was Shenouda III in 1971
The candidates of the Papal position should be :
  • Egyptian Orthodox Christians
  • Older than 40 years.
  • Have been a monk for at least 15 years.
  • Never been married before “to be virgins”
Currently there are top 3 candidates for the position : Bishop Moussa , Bishop Bishoy , Bishop Basanty.
Pro-revolutionary progressive Emad Gad supports the Bishop Moussa , the head of  Youth Bishopric . Gad says that Bishop Moussa was from the first official Church men to take the revolution’s side in the first 18 days when he published an Op-ed in Al Masry Al Youm supporting the revolution.
Bishop Bishoy had a bad history of racist insulting comments against Muslims so I do not think that this will be a good choice in time of the Islamists rise.He is the Christian version of Salafists.
Bishop Basanty has been from the strong church men.
Just like there was a strong rivalry presidential chair during the time of Mubarak and we wonder who really was going to rule Egypt after his departure ,there was also strong rivalry inside the Church especially the health of Shenouda III was deteriorating from bad to worse. I think we need a detailed
Strangely the Egyptian Coptic Church will have a new Pope at the same time Egypt will have a new president as well a new government.
Here is the video film showing howPope Shenouda III was elected in 1971 “Thanks to Evorina”
1971 : Choosing Pope Shenouda


  1. I wish to express my deepest sympathies on the passing of this Servant of G-D. Recently in Ottawa, Canada's Capital, I attended a think-tank session where a Coptic Priest enlightened the audience about the history of this great ancient Christian religion from St. Mark and the plight of Copts in Egypt, identifying the problems, noting a meeting with Canada's Prime Minister among Christian leaders warning the Government about Islamic extremism. He stunned everyone when he said amidst all the challenges how his people pray for those who use violence.
    In reading about Pope Shnouda 111 and seeing him, it reminded me of my maternal Giddo, Syrian Orthodox Priest from Damascus who served the Christian Orthodox community in many cities for 50 years. He had a great influence on many people, including me as I remember when he died I was 10 years old, remembering how for three days his coffin was in the St. Nicholas Church in Montreal and the huge crowds, and massive car calvacade with police escorts. I loved my Grandfather, who reached the highest level of the Church for a married Priest, and treasure his baptism of me, and what I learned from him. I am sure Pope Shnouda 111 will similarly impact hoards of people and next generations. I weep inside while there is a smile that He will be with His Saviour whom he nobly and courageously served, despite criticisms and obstacles. May His Memory be Eternal.
    Ernest Tannis Ottawa Ontario Canada

  2. Fascinating stuff, ZoZo. Excellent research ...

    It's always best that we know more about Qupts and they know more about Islam ... We might as well since we share the same country, and most likely, will continue to share it for as long as there is Egypt and there are Egyptians.

  3. Nice explanation.

    I am amazed about this blind-folded kid selection! It is the first time I hear about it and it seems strange!

  4. To be certain the candidates are 40-year-old virgins, they are bringing in SCAF doctor Ahmed Adel.

  5. I hope they fill the paypal position soon, otherwise ebay and other online businesses could be badly disrupted.

  6. very funny Jason : )

  7. The Coptic Christian Church is rumored to be in negotiations with Hollywood to film a new movie sequel.

  8. Whats wrong with you Jason... Do you have any ounce of respect?

  9. @Sticks -- You should worry more about the MB and less about my stupid jokes.

  10. Jason, thanks for accurately describing your jokes. As for the MB, we don't worry, because we believe that the Lord will take care of His church and His people. We are just tasked to love all.


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