FILE- Bishop Epiphanius’s funeral - press photo
CAIRO – 12 August 2018: Isaiah Macarius, one of the monks, was ordered for detention for four days pending investigation over his involvement in the murder of Bishop Epiphanius.
The investigation team concluded that the murder of Bishop Epiphanius was committed by Isaiah Macarius with the help of Valtawa al-Maqari, who tried to commit suicide after Isaiah’s arrest.
Head of Anba Makar Monastery near Wadi El-Natroun in the coastal Beheira province, Bishop Epiphanius’s body was found inside the monastery in front of his own cell on July 30, 2018.
It was revealed that Isaiah Macarius told Valtawa al-Maqari that he wanted to take revenge on Bishop Epiphanius after discovering that he had violated some rules of monasticism, including abstraction and obedience.
The source explained that the victim gathered evidence that Isaiah himself had engaged in commercial transactions, the purchase of land and real estate. These are all violations in monasticism.
Valtawa, who tried to commit suicide, launched a page on Facebook with other monks against the head of the abbot. This violates monasticism as well. This could arguably be why Pope Tawadros II decided that monks should take down any social media pages on any social media platforms. He had expressed that having these social media accounts is not in congruence with monastic life.
Interestingly, the Egyptian Coptic Church defrocked Isaiah Macarius a week after the death of the bishop. He returned to his former name, Wael Saad Tawadros, according to Ahram Online. This could be seen as related to the accusations, however, the Coptic Orthodox church said that the decision had no relation to the investigation on the bishop’s murder.
The research team, composed of public security officers, national security officers, the lake's criminal investigation department and forensics officers, used technical assistance to check fingerprints, inspect the surveillance camera at the site and review the internal security measures of the church.
The source explained that the investigations regarding the accident were made on 400 workers in the monastery and 150 monks. The investigation included the location of everyone at the time of the crime and the research team also examined places surrounding the monastery and their workers too.
Although the incident may have been initially thought to be an act of terrorism, this has been ruled out.