Last Update 13:56
Thursday, 14 November 2019

Altar lottery to choose Egypt's 118th Coptic pope begins

Final stage in selection of Coptic Church's new patriarch begins Sunday morning with names of three candidates sealed in transparent box and mass starts

Ahram Online, Sunday 4 Nov 2012
St Mark
St Mark's Cathedral in Abbasiya Cairo during Sunday mass, 4 November 2012. The final stage in the selection process begins Sunday morning. (Photo: Mai Shaheen)
Views: 3498
Views: 3498

The altar lottery to choose Egypt’s 118th Coptic Pope began Sunday morning at the Abbasiya Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo.

The acting pope Bishop Pachomios started the proceedings by announcing the three papal finalists: Bishop Rafael, Father Rafael Ava Mina and Bishop Tawadros, whose names were written on large sheets of paper in bold letters.

Each paper was then tied with red ribbon and marked with the acting pope's stamp as well as late Pope Shenouda III's stamp and dropped in a transparent box, which was sealed with red wax.

The box has been placed in a corner of the cathedral as the priests began performing the Divine Liturgy.

After mass, the church will then select one of cathedral's 12 altar boys.

The chosen child will be blindfolded and led to the altar to pick one of the papers.

He will give the paper to the interim patriarch, who will read the name of the new Coptic Pope.

*This article was amended on Sunday, 4 November to correct the number of altar boys.

Short link:


Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.

Victor Cauchi
04-11-2012 11:15am
Pope's Election
Reading about the way the new pope is chosen, from the people's choice last week to the Father's will today gives plenty food for thought about putting God into our lives and let Him lead us in our choices. Perhaps much of this faith could be adopted by a reborn Western Church.
Comment's Title

© 2010 Ahram Online.