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Wednesday, 23 October 2019

Egyptian monk detained for alleged involvement in murder of bishop

MENA, Ahram Online, Sunday 12 Aug 2018
Saint Macarius the Great monastery
A file photo of of Saint Macarius the Great monastery (Photo: Ahram Arabic website)
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An Egyptian prosecution ordered on Sunday a four day detention of a monk pending investigations into his alleged involvement in last month's murder of Bishop Epiphanius, the head of the Monastery of Saint Macarius in Wadi El-Natroun.

Bishop Epiphanius was found dead inside the monastery on 29 July under what the church described as “suspicious circumstances.”

An Alexandria prosecution ordered the detention of monk Faltaous El-Makary for "conspiring with others" to murder Bishop Epiphanius, according to state-owned MENA news agency.

Faltaous reportedly confessed to conspiring to kill the bishop with recently defrocked monk Isaiah El-Makary, who has also been detained on Saturday.

Following the murder of the bishop, Faltaous attempted to commit suicide, and is currently being treated in Cairo's Anglo American Hospital for injuries sustained in the suicide attempt.

Isaiah was defrocked last week after an investigation by the monastic affairs committee of the Holy Synod, the highest decision-making body in the Coptic Orthodox Church, revealed that he had committed actions unbecoming of a monk.

Isaiah was released from the monastery by Church decree and ordered to go by his former, non-monastic name of Wael Saad Tawadros.

The Church had previously stressed that the monk was not dismissed from his position due to the investigations into the murder of Bishop Epiphanius, and that he had been investigated and sanctioned previously by the Church for breaking monastic rules.

Following the death of Bishop Epiphanius, the Holy Synod issued new decrees prohibiting monks from using social media, appearing on media outlets, and building non-sanctioned places of worship.

The decrees also included a one-year freeze on the process of initiating new monks, and a three-year suspension of the ordination of monks as priests and archpriests.

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