Monks& priests at funeral of Head of St. Macarius Monastery, Bishop Epiphanius - Press photo
CAIRO - 5 August 2018: The Coptic Orthodox Church denied Saturday stripping two monks from their sacerdotal ranks and releasing them from St. Macarius Monastery in Wadi El-Natrun, where the head of monastery was mysteriously murdered last week.
"The Monastic Affairs Committee at the Holy Synod has not yet issued any decisions regarding the removal of monks from the St. Macarius Monastery," spokesperson of the Orthodox Church Priest Boules Halim stated Saturday.
A photo of a document with the logo of the Monastic Affairs Committee at the Holy Synod, stating that monks Yacoub al-Makary, and Ash'eyaa al-Makary have been deprived of their monasticism, has been circulating on Facebook recently. The document sparked rumors that the two monks were being punished for the death of the bishop.
St. Macarius Monastery announced last year that monk Yacoub al-Makary was expelled, warning against engaging in any financial deals with him as he had collected donations to build a convent in Wadi al-Natrun under the name The Virgin and Bishop Caras.
Makary had been expelled last February by Bishop Epiphanius due to problems between them before he could gather signatures of his colleagues to stay, and declared obedience to the bishop.
In case of criminal prosecution, monks are deprived of their priesthood, in accordance with the Church law.
Head of St. Macarius Monastery, Bishop Epiphanius, was found dead and covered in blood on July 29. The preliminary security investigation suggested that the bishop was hit by a sharp object. The body of the bishop was transferred to the morgue of the Wadi El-Natrun Central Hospital.
Pope Tawadros II had issued a set of rules regulating monasticism on Thursday, including halting all applications for monasticism in Orthodox convents in Egypt for a year starting August 2018. Monasticism and priesthood will be withdrawn from any individuals who had established convents without acquiring consent from the patriarchy, deactivating all bishops’ social media accounts, among other strict regulations.
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CAIRO - 4 August 2018: Egyptian bishops deactivated their social media accounts after Pope Tawadros II had issued a set of rules regulating monasticism on Thursday. Although the decision only addresses monks, the bishops' initiative aims at setting an example of obedience to younger generations at convents. The Pope himself deactivated his accounts.