Jump directly to the content

Egypt's Copts Select Bishop Tawadros as Next Orthodox Pope

Unlike predecessor, Tawadros promises to prioritize “living with our brothers, the Muslims.”

Egypt's Christian community has been celebrating their newest leader since Sunday, when a blindfolded child selected Bishop Tawadros as pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church.

Chosen by holy lot, Tawadros will serve as spiritual leader for Egypt's Coptic Orthodox, who comprise between 6 and 10 percent of the country's population of 83 million. Tawadros, a 60-year-old bishop of the Nile Delta province of Beheira, succeeds the much-beloved Pope Shenouda III, who died in March.

The task for Tawadros is monumental: Since the Egyptian uprising and overthrow of former President Hosni Mubarak, the Coptic church no longer enjoys protection under the new Islamist government, causing the papacy's political influence to diminish.

But Tawadros has promised in recent interviews to eschew the political role of his predecessor Shenouda, emphasizing religious integration instead.

According to The New York Times, Tawadros's priorities include "living with our brothers, the Muslims" and "the responsibility of preserving our shared life."

"The most important thing is for the church to go back and live consistently within the spiritual boundaries because this is its main work, spiritual work," the bishop said.

CT previously noted the selection of the new pope, including a profile of the three candidates and an explanation of the unique selection process. CT also previously reported on Egyptian Christians' views of the new president, and noted that some Coptic converts see the new Islamist government as a "blessing in disguise."

Related Topics:Middle East
Posted:November 5, 2012 at 11:51AM
Gleanings aggregates what others are reporting. Learn more.
Recent Posts
Can Wheaton College Require ROTC Program Be Run By Christians?
US Army reviews nationwide policy for ROTC profs, who are paid by military but work as full-time faculty.
Died: R. Judson Carlberg, Christian Higher Ed Leader, Biologos Chair
On Thanksgiving, he once wrote, 'I am thankful for cancer. James 1:2-3... Life is richer, trust is stronger and relationships are deeper.'
Politics
President Obama Cites Exodus on Immigration Reform: 'We Were Strangers Once Too'
(UPDATED) Reactions from Sam Rodriguez, Russell Moore, Jenny Yang, Noel Castellanos on Obama's motive vs. method.
Pope Francis Learns What Rick Warren, Russell Moore, N. T. Wright Think about Marriage
(UPDATED) Warren turns Vatican conference into 'revivalist meeting,' while Moore explains why marriage crosses theological boundaries.
Christianity Today
Egypt's Copts Select Bishop Tawadros as Next Orthodox Pope