Pope Tawadros II (Arabic: البابا تواضروس الثاني [al-Bābā Tawāḍurūs al-ṯhānī, English: Pope Theodore II]) is the 118th and current Pope of Alexandria & Patriarch of the See of St. Mark, succeeding the late Pope Shenouda III as leader of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria. He took office on 18 November 2012, two weeks after being selected.
Pope Tawadros II was born Waǧīh Ṣubḥī Bāqī Sulaymān (وجيه صبحى باقى سليمان) on 4 November 1952 in the city of Mansoura in Egypt. He studied at the University of Alexandria, where he received a degree in pharmacy in 1975. After a few years of managing a state-owned pharmaceutical factory, he joined the Monastery of Saint Pishoy in Wadi Natrun to study theology for two years. He became an ordained priest in 1989.
On 15 June 1997, he was consecrated as a general bishop by his predecessor as Pope, Shenouda III, with the Greek name of Theodoros, which translates to Tawadros in Coptic or Theodore in English. Arabic spelling: تاوضروس. He was assigned to serve in the Eparchy of Behira in the northwestern Delta.
The papal selection process began several weeks before the 4 November selection. About 2,400 clergymen and others shortlisted three candidates: Bishop Tawadros, former aide to Metropolitan Pachomios; Bishop Raphael; and Father Raphael Ava Mina, a monk in a monastery near Alexandria and disciple of 116th Pope Cyril VI.
The ceremony to choose the pope from the three consensus candidates was held at Cairo's St. Mark's Cathedral at about noon, with a marked police presence. Metropolitan Pachomios, locum tenens of the Church, put slips bearing the candidates' names in a sealed chalice which was set upon the altar, then led the Divine Liturgy. He told the congregation to "pray that God will choose the good shepherd", and a blindfolded boy took a slip — Tawadros — from the chalice.
Bishop Pachomius formally announced that the sixty-year-old Bishop Tawadros was to be the 118th Pope, and would be named “Pope Tawadros the second” after Pope Tawadros the first (r. 730–742), who was consecrated 45th Coptic Patriarch and Pope during Egypt’s Umayyad Period (658–750). Tawadros II said, from the monastery at Wadi Natrun, "[We] will start by organizing the house from within. It is a responsibility. Most important is ... that the church, as an institution, serves the community." Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi congratulated Tawadros and called for Egyptian "unity" and "brotherly love" between Copts and Muslims. Bishop Raphael, who came first in the election stage of papal selection, was appointed general secretary of the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church.
Egypt is identified in the Bible as the place of refuge that the Holy Family sought in its flight from Judea: "When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt, and was there until the death of Herod the Great, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt I called My Son" (Matthew 2:12-23).
"...On one hand, its theology is based on nothing outside the scriptures. On the other hand, the doctrines agree in all parts with those of the Early Church i.e. the tradition which has the proper interpretation and application of the teachings of our Lord and the Apostles as understood and practiced by the Christians and the leaders of the Church during the period of the One Universal Church until the division of 451 A.D."
Bishop Athanasius of Ben-Swef and Bahnassa (1977)
The Coptic Church was established in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ by St. Mark the Evangelist in the city of Alexandria around 43 A.D. The church adheres to the Nicene Creed. St. Athanasius (296-373 A.D.), the twentieth Pope of the Coptic Church effectively defended the Doctrine of the Lord Jesus Christ's Divinity at
There are about 15 million Coptic Orthodox Christians in the world: they are found primarily in Egypt under the jurisdiction of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria (roughly 11 million).
There are also significant numbers in the diaspora in countries such as the United States of America, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, and Sudan. The number of Coptic Orthodox Christians in the diaspora is roughly 4 million. In addition, there are between 350,000 and 400,000 native African adherents in East, Central and South Africa.
His Holiness Pope Shenouda III (1923-2012)
"Your people shall be willing in the day of your power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: you have the dew of your youth. The LORD has sworn, and will not relent, You are a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek." (Ps 110:3)
His Holiness Pope Shenouda III was born, Nazeer Gayed, on August 3, 1923, from a religious
The Coptic Orthodox Church believes that:
- There is only one God who created heaven and earth and everything in them.
- God is one in trinity and trinity in one the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
- Jesus Christ is the incarnate Logos of God and he is our Savior.
- He died on the cross for our sins, rose from the dead, ascended into the heavens, sat at the right hand of His Father, and He is coming again in his glory to Judge everyone.
- We believe in 7 sacraments of the church which are:
- Confirmation (Anointment of the Holy Spirit through the Holy oil of Myron).
- Unction of Sick.
Father Mina Mina Was ordained an Oghnostos (a Reader) by H.G. the late Bishop Boulos of Helwan.
Received his Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from Helwan University; Received his Master's degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania.
In 1989, Father Mina was ordained a deacon assistant by the hands of H.H. Pope Shenouda III in Philadelphia, PA.
The Coptic Faith welcomes you. Whether you live in the state of Delaware or just visiting, whether you go to church or not, whether you believe in Jesus Christ or still in doubt. We hope that we will be able to meet your spiritual needs and some of your social needs as well, and in turn, that you will be able to help us in our quest to more fully utilize the gifts for the members of our community.
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The Coptic Orthodox Church believes that: