Pope Tawadros makes changes in the Holy Synod



Wed, 23 May 2018 - 02:42 GMT


Wed, 23 May 2018 - 02:42 GMT

FILE - Pope Tawadros II, Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark

FILE - Pope Tawadros II, Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark

CAIRO – 23 May 2018: Not one to simply take charge and maintain order, Pope Tawadros II has been making some big changes in the administrative and authoritative system of the Coptic Orthodox Church from the first day. Convening the Holy Synod and its elections on May 18, the Pope’s most trusted men have now occupied the highest positions in it.

The Pope came to the seat of a man before him who was following a different school of religious leadership. A proponent of Father Matta al-Maskeen’s teachings, Pope Tawadros would no longer allow Pope Shenouda’s stronghold reign to manifest. He was now changing the winds. Those who were never allowed to take up high administrative and clerical positions were now coming to the forefront.

Pope Tawadros embarked on his reforms with two goals in mind: to install the men he trusted in the highest clerical positions, and to target the youth. In the matter of the first, two of his most trusted clergymen slowly climbed to the roles he meant for them in the Church.

Sources from within the church stated that the most critical change of the Pope’s reign was followed through; the secretary and assistant secretaries of the Synod have been elected. The Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church is the highest authority in the Coptic Orthodox Church. It is the authority that issues rules and regulations to the churches and to their congregations. The Synod convenes once every year for a week.

The Holy Synod, 2017 - Photo courtesy of New York and New England Copts website

During the last session of the Synod, Archbishop Daniel, the archbishop of Maadi, has replaced Archbishop Rafael as the secretary of the Synod. Daniel's position came due to his tight and amicable relationship with the Pope. Daniel also acts as the Pope’s vice; he is left in charge of the administration of the Cathedral when the Pope is abroad. Now, Archbishop Daniel, is officially the second highest clergyman in the Coptic Orthodox Church.

In terms of youth, they took up a great part of the Pope’s attention. Archbishop Youlious, the archbishop of Social Services, is now appointed to their affairs. Known for his closeness and attention to the underprivileged, Youlious has come to replace Pope Shenouda’s strong man, Archbishop You’anes. His strongmen, Archbishop Daniel and Archbishop Youlious have been appointed to the Pope’s highest positions, while the third, was awarded to Archbishop Gabriel, the archbishop of Vienna, who was essentially the Pope's ambassador while he was seeking treatment there. Gabriel, a savvy diplomat, has managed to secure a large church in the heart of Vienna to the Coptic Orthodox Church as a result of the ties that he strengthened with the Catholic Church and its officials there. Archbishop Gabriel is the embodiment of the Pope’s “open heart” policy, which relies on forming and maintaining friendly and amicable relationships with everyone.

All these changes and appointments were voted upon in the Holy Synod, and took place after the predecessors had finished their terms.

These changes came coupled with many requests for the Pope to start a Theological Dialogue, since many inaccurate teachings are being disseminated by individuals within the church. This came in light of the crisis that was caused by Archbishop Angelius who had essentially falsified and demeaned the Bible, and had to be relieved of his duties in North America five months after his appointment. Archbishop David who heads New York, has replaced Angelius and now maintains both New York and North America.



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