Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Church Pope Tawadros II mourned Coptic Metropolitan Bishoy of Damietta, Kafr El-Sheikh and the abbot of the Monastery of Saint Demiana of Barrari, Belkas, who died late Tuesday at the age of 76, the state owned MENA agency reported.
In an official statement issued by the Coptic Orthodox Church, Pope Tawadros II said, "We are saddened by his sudden death after he served the Church for 45 years and was a meticulous theologian who has shared his knowledge in drafting Coptic and theologic statements, and taught at theological schools here and abroad."
According to Coptic Orthodox Church spokesman Bolous Halim, the funeral service for Metropolitan Bishoy will be held Thursday in the presence of bishops of the Church, priests and deacons, and the Coptic community.
Bishoy was born Makram Eskander Nicola on 19 July 1942 in Mansoura in the Nile Delta.
He graduated from the Department of Electricity at the Faculty of Engineering of Alexandria University in 1963 with high honours, and was appointed as a teacher in the faculty.
He earned a Masters degree in mechanical engineering also from Alexandria University in 1968.
On 16 February 1969, he became Monk Thoma El-Souriani in the Monastery of the Virgin, known as Deir El-Souriani.
He was ordained as a priest on Palm Sunday in 1970, though he did not seek any priestly rank in the monastery.
He was later ordained a hegoman priest on 17 August 1972.
A few months later, he was appointed Bishop of Damietta, Kafr El-Shiekh and the Monastery of Saint Demiana of Barrari, Belkas.
In 1990, Bishop Bishoy was ordained Metropolitan in the Cathedral of Saint Athanasius the Apostle at Damanhour.
He also served as secretary of the Holy Synod , the highest authority of the Coptic Orthodox Church, from 1985 to 2012 during tenure of late Pope Shenouda III.