Who will be the next pope?

Does anyone find it weird that Pope Shenouda III was scheduled to Germany this week for an emergency spinal cord operation — the exact same pretext that Mubarak went to Germany last summer for? The pope’s kidneys are also in bad shape, apparently, and he might be heading to the US for treatment.

Nahdet Misr’s leading article yesterday worries about his health and wonder who would replace him. Valid question — the Coptic pope has been in power for longer than Mubarak himself (since 1971) and has played an overtly political role in Egypt, breaking with long-standing tradition by, for instance, endorsing Mubarak for re-election last September. That controversy also exists within the church, with a monastic tendency that tends to eschew temporal power that has been increasingly at odds — and come under attack — from Shenouda, notably embodied by the followers of Father Matta Al Miskeen and the monks of the monastery of Makarious.

Needless to say, the election of a new pope should something happen to Shenouda would come at an interesting juncture in Egyptian politics, especially when Copts are increasingly disgruntled (and vocal) about the discrimination they endure.

My friend Paul Schemm wrote an excellent article about the roots of this split in the church in the Cairo Times (Volume 6, Issue 39) a few years ago, I might post it at some point when I get back to Egypt.

0 thoughts on “Who will be the next pope?”

  1. the coptic church is strong church . no one follow this priest who try to split the church but some people try to push him against coptic church to weak the church and pope shnouda he is our spiritual leader of our church and all coptic orthodox follow his leadership otherwise you arenot coptic orthodox.

    every one has right to his belive the pope shnouda is spiritual leader for 100% of coptic orthodox but nothing will effect the church if 10 people didn’t like the church they have no any effect on us but this thier opinion .

    god saved our church all this time and god will save our church in the futur what ever our enemy is strong .

  2. our leadership is one the Pope Shenouda III and our church is united no one can split our church and every one free to belive but if you not follow Pope Shenouda III spiritual leadership you are not coptic orthodox you something else .

  3. Dear Issandr El Amrani,
    Let me start by saying the words of Our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ from the Gospel according to Saint Matthew 6:34 “THEREFORE DO NOT WORRY ABOUT TOMORROW, FOR TOMORROW WILL WORRY ABOUT ITS OWN THINGS. SUFFICIENT FOR THE DAY IS ITS OWN TROUBLE.”

    Who are you to ask who will be the next Pope while His Holiness Pope Shenouda III is still alive and well? I find this to be an insult and is something that is very hurtful! Would you appreciate if I spoke of your parents death before it had occured and was wondering who would take care of you?? He is our Spiritual Father today and we have no need to worry about the future. His Holiness is in great health and there is no need for such a question. We as laymen in the Coptic Orthodox Church know that God is taking care of our Church as He has been taking care of the One Holy Universal and Apostolic Church since it was founded in 33AD!! We also know that the Holy Spirit is with us and He is the one who decides who our Popes are, not man! Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church and we have no need to worry for anything as He tells us in the Gospel. God is with us yesterday, today, and tomorrow! Why do we ever need to worry? I hope this is a sufficient response to what you have said. If you have questions, please email me at Orthodoxy4everr@yahoo.com.

  4. My wishs to see pope shounda in good health .And also i think and a lot of coptic agree he has to rest and we can get new pope for our church

  5. If Pope Shenouda steps down or whatever happens, the christian community is not going to fall to bits. The christian community is not dependent on any man but rather God. Pope Shenouda is human just like you and me. My hope post pope Shenouda is an end to the power struggle in the coptic church because christianity ain’t about power, it’s about Jesus Christ. Without man leading the church, hopefully people will start looking to God for leadership.

    Therefore, since we have a great HIGH PRIEST who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. Jesus IS the high priest-period.
    Hebrews 4:14

  6. I agree 100% with the author known as “Orthodoxy4everr”. You are correct in saying that it is wrong to speak of the Holy Father while he lives on our earth. The Holy Father is the direct representative of our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ on this our planet Earth. His Holiness Pope Shenouda III is a holy man, a righteous man, a wise man, a fair man, a respected man, and a Saint. You may or may not believe me about this last statement but I tell you that I have seen and heard enough proof of his sainthood to settle any doubts. In the Old Testament our God had predestined concerning the Holy High Priesthood in Christianity from Apostolic times to the papacy of our Holy Father Pope Shenouda III when He said: “The LORD has sworn And will not relent, ‘You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek.’ â€� (Psalm 110:4). If our Lord had ordered long ago in the days of the Arch-prophet Moses at Mount Sinai to all of us: “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you” (Exodus 20:12) then he most certainly would not tolerate dishonor to our highest Spiritual Father on earth: Pope Shenouda III. It seems to me that honoring him would do us all good in Heaven and on Earth. Do you all remember the late Anwar Sadat and how he sought to destroy the Coptic Orthodox Church? When he attempted to disrespect the Holy Father Pope Shenouda III he was almost immediately silenced by God Himself because Sadat’s disrespect was not entirely targeted towards Pope Shenouda but more acutely towards God Himself. It would be ill advised to attack or disrespect the Holy Father because he is enthroned by God Himself (when he receives the Holy Papal Shepherd’s Staff from God’s divine altar) and it is to God that he pleads and prays for our people. As a Coptic Patriot, I believe that any attack or dishonor against the Holy Father is not only an attack on all of us as Coptic Orthodox Christians but is also an attack against the Church, and dare I say it: God Himself, to Him is due all glory, honor and praise in His Church, Amen.

  7. Please refer to the following chapter in Colossians to read the 2 verses in context.

    New International Version (NIV)
    Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

    Colossians 1: 17-18
    17He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.

    Since the Bible (not me or my friend) says that God is the head of the church, when the pope relinquishes his power over the people, hopefully we will be able to follow the Bible and let HIM be head of the church. The curtain over the holy of holies was torn my friend and we can all enter in. Enter in and speak to God directly as ‘Abba Father’ (Romans 8).

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