Coptic Orthodox: How long until there's a new patriarch?

To my Coptic Orthodox friends (or those who are knowledgeable about the beloved Coptic people):

Pope (Patriarch) Shenouda III died on March 17, 2012. Right now, the leader of the Coptic Orthodox is Metropolitan Pachomious, who is currently serving as the placeholder of the office (similar to how, I assume, the Camerlengo of the Catholic Church manages the property of the Holy See between the death of a pope and the election of a sucessor).

I heard, probably a couple months ago, that a vote was going to take place soon. What is the general rules of the interregnum period of the pope? Four months later, and there hasn’t been a new patriarch elected - why?

Thank you!

I can not answer your question with regard to the Coptic Papacy, but I hope that you are not comparing how the Coptic church functions to some other church, it does not make sense to do so. They have their own means and canons and traditions and will follow them.

For an example, there have been interregnums in the Roman Catholic church of two years in some cases. This is a fact of history, one might as well ask ‘why?’ to that as well. Whatever the standard may be (as called for in the canons) may be different now than it has been in other days.

I certainly didn’t mean to do so. I understand that the Coptic Church has its own canons. That’s partially why I’m asking - I honestly don’t know what the rules are.

Sorry, I mis-spoke. I would like to learn about this as well.

Good question.

I don’t really know anything about this, having only been with the Copts for about a year at this point, but searching for an appropriate timeline, I found the following:

EDIT: Sorry, I didn’t realize how huge this would be! It didn’t look that big on the site I found it on. I’m afraid I don’t know how to shrink images, but if a mod would like to do so, please do.

So if that is accurate, it’ll be this time next month that the election will be held.

May they whomever they select prove himself to be a good, caring and worthy bishop.

Thank you for the excellent timeline! Does anybody know why there is such a gap between papacies? Most of the time when a leader dies, people want a new leader nearly right away.

Indeed. The Egyptian Copts need a strong leader more than ever now.


Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church to choose new pope in December

Egypt’s state news agency, citing a church official responsible for overseeing the papal election, said 2,405 voters were eligible to cast ballots on November 24 after a list of up to seven candidates was drawn up on October 4.

The vote would whittle the candidates down to three. Then on December 2, the pope would be picked using a traditional method where a young child picks one of the names from a box.

No. The bishop who temporarily takes the place of the Pope/Patriarch is not similar to the Camerlengo. The Camerlengo has no actual authority over the Church except the power to summon the Cardinals to a conclave. A temporary replacement for a Patriarch is actually a functioning bishop who can do as the Patriarch does. This is because unlike the Pope of Rome, Eastern and Oriental bishops do not have “special powers” like the Pope has. They cannot unilaterally alter doctrine and what have you, so there is no danger to have one sit in behalf of the patriarch temporarily until an official replacement is named.

We’ll here’s what does happen in Rome. :wink: For more detail you can read… Heirs of the Fisherman… by Pham.

“Eastern and Oriental bishops do not have “special powers” like the Pope”. The threads about the Copts and their loss CTG, not a time for your personal conflict with the C- Church and the authority of the Bishop of Rome. :wink:

Our loss, as such, is the gain of all the heavens and the earth. Now he is our intercessor, praising with the angels the Lord to whom he brought so many souls. We say in the litany of the departed, “for there is no death for Your servants, but a departure.” So it is not a loss, really, though we are obviously in need of a worthy successor to guide us through such trying times, whom the Holy Spirit will provide in due time. :slight_smile:

Egypt church moves closer to picking new pope

Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox church moved a step closer to picking a new pope on Monday when the shortlist was whittled down to three in a process the Christian minority hopes will deliver a leader to guide them safely through the upheaval of the Arab Spring.

A shortlist of five candidates was reduced to three by an election on Monday in which 2,256 voted out of 2,417 people picked by the church to have the right to vote.

The three who will go forward to the draw are: Bishop Rafael, a 54-year old who qualified as a doctor before entering the priesthood; Bishop Tawdros, a 60-year old who qualified as a pharmacist before entering the priesthood and Father Rafael Afamena, a 70-year old monk who studied law before entering the priesthood.

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