Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria

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Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and of All Africa
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Coptic Orthodox Cross
Jesus Christ, the Son of God
Founder The Apostle and Evangelist Mark
Independence Apostolic Era
Recognition Orthodox
Primate H.H. Pope and Patriarch Shenouda III
Headquarters Alexandria and Cairo in Egypt
Territory Egypt, Nubia, Sudan, Pentapolis, Libya and All Africa
Possessions Middle East, United States, Canada, Great Britain, Western Europe, South America, Australia, New Zealand, Oceania, Southeast Asia and the Carribean Islands
Language Coptic, Greek, Arabic, Egyptian Arabic, English, French and German
Population ~11,000,000 in Egypt+ ~4,000,000 Abroad
Website Official Website of HH Pope Shenouda III
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The Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria is the Church of Egypt that, according to tradition, the apostle Mark established in the middle of the 1st century (approximately 42). The Church belongs to the Oriental Orthodoxy, and the See of Alexandria. Coptic Orthodox Christianity has been a distinct church body since the Council of Chalcedon in 451. The head of the church is the Pope of Alexandria and the Patriarch of All Africa on the Holy See of Saint Mark, currently His Holiness Pope Shenouda III. More than 95% of Egypt's Christians belong to the Coptic Orthodox Church, but other "Patriarchates/Patriarchs of Alexandria" also exist (Coptic Catholic, Greek/Latin Catholic and Greek Orthodox - see Coptic Christianity Today below).

Contents

[edit] History and Apostolic Foundation

Egypt is identified in the Bible as the place of refuge that the Holy Family sought in its flight<ref>Holy Family in Egypt</ref> 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).

The Egyptian Church, which is now more than nineteen centuries old, was the subject of many prophecies in the Old Testament. Isaiah the prophet, in Chapter 19, Verse 19 says "In that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to the LORD at its border."

The first Christians in Egypt were mainly Alexandrian Jews such as Theophilus, whom Saint Luke the Evangelist addresses in the introductory chapter of his gospel. When the church was founded by Mark during the reign of the Roman emperor Nero, a great multitude of native Egyptians (as opposed to Greeks or Jews) embraced the Christian faith.

Christianity spread throughout Egypt within half a century of Saint Mark's arrival in Alexandria as is clear from the New Testament writings found in Bahnasa, in Middle Egypt, which date around the year 200 A.D., and a fragment of the Gospel of John, written in Coptic, which was found in Upper Egypt and can be dated to the first half of the second century. In the second century, Christianity began to spread to the rural areas, and scriptures were translated into the local language, namely Coptic.

[edit] Contribitions to Christianity

[edit] The Catechetical School of Alexandria, Egypt

The Catechetical School of Alexandria is the oldest catechetical school in the world. Founded around 190 A.D. by the scholar Pantanaeus, the school of Alexandria became an important institution of religious learning, where students were taught by scholars such as Athenagoras, Clement, Didymus, and the great Origen, who was considered the father of theology and who was also active in the field of commentary and comparative Biblical studies. Origen wrote over 6,000 commentaries of the Bible in addition to his famous Hexapla.

Many scholars such as Jerome visited the school of Alexandria to exchange ideas and to communicate directly with its scholars. The scope of this school was not limited to theological subjects; science, mathematics and humanities were also taught there. The question-and-answer method of commentary began there, and 15 centuries before Braille, wood-carving techniques were in use there by blind scholars to read and write.

The Theological college of the catechetical school of Alexandria was re-established in 1893. The new school currently has campuses in Alexandria, Cairo, New Jersey, and Los Angeles, where Coptic priests-to-be and other qualified men and women are taught among other subjects Christian theology, history, Coptic language and art - including chanting, music, iconography, and tapestry.

[edit] The Cradle of Monasticism and its missionary work

Many Egyptian Christians went to the desert during the 3rd century, and remained there to pray and work and dedicate their lives to seclusion and worship of God. This was the beginning of the monastic movement, which was organized by Anthony the Great, Saint Paul, the world's first anchorite, Saint Macarius the Great and Saint Pachomius the Cenobite in the 4th century.

Monasticism was born in Egypt and was instrumental in the formation of the Coptic Orthodox Church character of submission, simplicity and humility, thanks to the teachings and writings of the Great Fathers of Egypt's Deserts. By the end of the fourth century, there were hundreds of monasteries, and thousands of cells and caves scattered throughout the Egyptian desert. A great number of these monasteries are still flourishing and have new vocations to this day.

All Christian monasticism stems, either directly or indirectly, from the Egyptian example: Saint Basil the Great Archbishop of Ceasaria of Cappadocia, founder and organiser of the monastic movement in Asia Minor, visited Egypt around 357 A.D. and his rule is followed by the Eastern Orthodox Churches; Saint Jerome who translated the Bible into Latin, came to Egypt, while en route to Jerusalem,around 400 A.D. and left details of his experiences in his letters; Benedict founded the Benedictine Order in the sixth century on the model of Saint Pachomius, but in a stricter form. Countless pilgrims have visited the "Desert Fathers" to emulate their spiritual, disciplined lives.

[edit] Role and participation in the Ecumenical Councils

[edit] Council of Nicea

In the 4th century, an Alexandrian presbyter named Arius began a theological dispute about the nature of Christ that spread throughout the Christian world and is now known as Arianism. The Ecumenical Council of Nicea (325) was convened by Constantine under the presidency of Saint Hosius of Cordova and Saint Alexander of Alexandria to resolve the dispute and eventually led to the formulation of the Symbol of Faith, also known as the Nicene Creed. The Creed, which is now recited throughout the Christian world, was based largely on the teaching put forth by a man who eventually would become Saint Athanasius of Alexandria, the chief opponent of Arius.

[edit] Council of Constantinople

In the year 381, Saint Timothy I of Alexandria presided over the second ecumenical council known as the Ecumenical Council of Constantinople, which completed the Nicene Creed with this confirmation of the divinity of the Holy Spirit:

"We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Life-giver, who proceeds from the Father, who with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified who spoke by the Prophets and in one Holy Universal Apostolic Church. We confess one Baptism for the remission of sins and we look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the coming age, Amen."

[edit] Council of Ephesus

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Coptic Icon in the Coptic Altar of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem

Another theological dispute in the 5th century occurred over the teachings of Nestorius, the Patriarch of Constantinople who taught that God the Word was not hypostatically joined with human nature, but rather dwelt in the man Jesus. As a consequence of this, he denied the title "Mother of God" (Theotokos) to the Virgin Mary, declaring her instead to be "Mother of Christ" Christotokos.

When reports of this reached the Apostolic Throne of Saint Mark, Pope Saint Cyril I of Alexandria acted quickly to correct this breach with orthodoxy, requesting that Nestorius repent. When he would not, the Synod of Alexandria met in an emergency session and a unanimous agreement was reached. Pope Cyril I of Alexandria, supported by the entire See, sent a letter to Nestorius known as "The Third Epistle of Saint Cyril to Nestorius." This epistle drew heavily on the established Patristic Constitutions and contained the most famous article of Alexandrian Orthodoxy: "The Twelve Anathemas of Saint Cyril." In these anathemas, Cyril excommunicated anyone who followed the teachings of Nestorius. For example, "Anyone who dares to deny the Holy Virgin the title Theotokos is Anathema!" Nestorius however, still would not repent and so this led to the convening of the First Ecumenical Council of Ephesus (431), over which Cyril I of Alexandria presided.

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Coptic Language Hymn Book - otherwise know as the 'Tasbeha' or 'Holy Psalmody'

The First Ecumenical Council of Ephesus confirmed the teachings of Saint Athanasius and confirmed the title of the Holy Ever-Virgin Mary as "Mother of God". It also clearly stated that anyone who separated Christ into two hypostases was anathema, as Athanasius had said that there is "One Nature and One Hypostasis for God the Word Incarnate" (Mia Physis kai Mia Hypostasis tou Theou Logou Sasarkomeni). Also, the introduction to the creed was formulated as follows:

"We magnify you O Mother of the True Light and we glorify you O saint and Mother of God (Theotokos) for you have borne unto us the Saviour of the world. Glory to you O our Master and King: Christ, the pride of the Apostles, the crown of the martyrs, the rejoicing of the righteous, firmness of the churches and the forgiveness of sins. We proclaim the Holy Trinity in One Godhead: we worship Him, we glorify Him, Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy, Lord bless us, Amen."

The Orthodox faith is considered to have prevailed at the council. Unfortunately, Saint Cyril I of Alexandria died soon afterwards.

[edit] Council of Chalcedon

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St. Mark Coptic Cathedral in Alexandria

When the Emperor Marcianus interfered with matters of faith in the Church, the response of Pope Dioscorus – the Pope of Alexandria who was later exiled – was that the emperor should not intervene in the affairs of the Church. It was at Chalcedon that the emperor, through the Imperial delegates, enforced harsh disciplinary measures against Pope Dioscorus in response of his boldness.

The Council of Chalcedon , from the perspective of the Alexandrine Christogy, has deviated from the approved Cyrillian terminology and declared that Christ was one hypostasis in two natures. However, in the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed, "Christ was conceived of the Holy Spirit and of the Virgin Mary," thus the foundation of the definition according to the Non-Chalcedonian adherents, according to the Christology of Cyril of Alexandria is valid.

In terms of Christology, the Oriental Orthodox (Non-Chalcedonians) understanding is that Christ is "One Nature--the Logos Incarnate," of the full humanity and full divinity. The Chalcedonians understanding is that Christ is in two natures, full humanity and full divinity. Just as humans are of their mothers and fathers and not in their mothers and fathers, so too is the nature of Christ according to Oriental Orthodoxy. If Christ is in full humanity and in full divinity, then He is separate in two persons as the Nestorians teach.<ref>Split of the Byzantine and Oriental Churches.</ref> This is the doctrinal perception that makes the apparent difference which separated the Oriental Orthodox from the Eastern Orthodox.

The Council's findings were rejected by many of the Christians on the fringes of the Byzantine Empire, including Egyptians, Syrians, Armenians, and others.

From that point onward, Alexandria would have two patriarchs: the non-Chalcedonian native Egyptian one, now known as the Coptic Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of All Africa on the Holy Apostolic See of St. Mark and the "Melkite" or Imperial Patriarch, now known as the Greek Orthodox Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of All Africa.<ref>Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria.</ref>

Almost the entire Egyptian population rejected the terms of the Council of Chalcedon and remained faithful to the native Egyptian Church (now known as the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria). Those who supported the Chalcedonian definition remained in communion with the other leading churches of Rome and Constantinople. The non-Chalcedonian party became what is today called the Oriental Orthodox Church.

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Coptic Cathedral in Aswan

The Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria regards itself as having been misunderstood at the Council of Chalcedon. There was an opinion in the Church that viewed that perhaps the Council understood the Church of Alexandria correctly, but wanted to curtail the existing power of the Alexandrine Hierarch, especially after the events that happened several years before at Constantinople from Pope Theophilus of Alexandria towards Patriarch John Chrysostom and the unfortunate turnouts of the Second Council of Ephesus in 449 AD, where Eutichus misled Pope Dioscoros and the Council in confessing the Orthodox Faith in writting and then renouncing it after the Council, which in turn, had upset Rome, especially that the Tome which was sent was not read during the Council sessions.

To make thing even worse, the Tome of Pope Leo of Rome was, according to the Alexandria School of Theology, particularly in regards to the definition of Christology, considered influenced by Nestorian heretical teachings. So, due to the above mentioned, especially in the consecutive sequenses of events, the Hierarchs of Alexandria were considered holding too much of power from one hand, and on the other hand, due to the conflict of the Schools of Theology, an inpass was to be and there was a scape goat, i.e. Pope Disocoros.

It is also to be noted that by anathemizing Pope Leo, because of the tone and content of his Tome, as per Alexandrine Theology perception, Pope Discoros was found guilty of doing so, without due process, in other words, the Tome of Leo was not a subject of heresy in the first place, but it was a question of questioning the reasons behind not having it either acknowledged or read at the Second Council of Ephesus in 449 AD. It is important to note that Pope Dioscorus of Alexandria was never labeled as heretic by the council's canons.

Copts also believe that the Pope of Alexandria was forcibly prevented from attending the third congregation of the council from which he was ousted, apparently the result of a conspiracy tailored by the Roman delegates.<ref>Romanides, John S. Leo of Rome's Support of Theodoret.</ref>

Before the current positive era of Eastern and Oriental Orthodox dialogues, Chalcedonians sometimes used to call the non-Chalcedonians "monophysites", though the Coptic Orthodox Church in reality regards monophysitism as a heresy. The Chalcedonian doctrine in turn came to be known as "dyophysite".

A term that comes closer to Coptic Orthodoxy is miaphysite, which refers to a conjoined nature for Christ, both human and divine, united indivisibly in the Incarnate Logos. The Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria believes that Christ is perfect in His divinity, and He is perfect in His humanity, but His divinity and His humanity were united in one nature called "the nature of the incarnate word", which was reiterated by Saint Cyril of Alexandria.

Copts, thus, believe in two natures "human" and "divine" that are united in one hypostasis "without mingling, without confusion, and without alteration". These two natures "did not separate for a moment or the twinkling of an eye" (Coptic Liturgy of Saint Basil of Caesarea).

[edit] Development as a National Church

[edit] From Chalcedon to the Arab conquest of Egypt

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St. Peter stands over an altar in the sanctuary of Ramses II's temple at Wadi es-Sebua

Copts suffered under the rule of the Byzantine Eastern Roman Empire. The Melkite Patriarchs, appointed by the emperors as both spiritual leaders and civil governors, massacred the Egyptian population whom they considered heretics. Many Egyptians were tortured and martyred to accept the terms of Chalcedon, but Egyptians remained loyal to the faith of their fathers and to the Cyrillian view of Christology. One of the most renowned Egyptian saints of that period is Saint Samuel the Confessor.

[edit] The Arab-Muslim conquest of Egypt

The Muslim conquest of Egypt took place in AD 639. Despite the political upheaval, Egypt remained a mainly Christian land, although gradual conversions to Islam over the centuries changed Egypt from a mainly Christian to a mainly Muslim country by the end of the 12th century.

This process was sped along by persecutions during and following the reign of the Fatimid caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah (reigned AD 996–1021) and the Crusades, and also by the acceptance of Arabic as a liturgical language by the Pope of Alexandria Gabriel ibn-Turaik.<ref>Kamil, Jill (1997). Coptic Egypt: History and Guide. Cairo: American University in Cairo.</ref>

During Arab rule, the Copts needed to pay a special tax called the jizya in order to be defended by Muslim armies, as non-Muslims were not allowed to serve in the army. This tax was abolished in 1855.

[edit] From the 19th century to the 1952 revolution

The position of the Copts began to improve early in the 19th century under the stability and tolerance of Muhammad Ali's dynasty. The Coptic community ceased to be regarded by the state as an administrative unit and, by 1855, the main mark of Copts' inferiority, the Jizya tax, was lifted. Shortly thereafter, Christians started to serve in the Egyptian army. The 1919 revolution in Egypt, the first grassroots display of Egyptian identity in centuries, stands as a witness to the homogeneity of Egypt's modern society with both its Muslim and Christian components.


[edit] The Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria today

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A modern Coptic monastery.

The current Coptic Orthodox Pope of Alexandria and the Patriarch of All Africa on the Holy See of Saint Mark is Pope Shenouda III (his title should not be confused with that of the Roman Catholic Pope).

By some accounts there are about 57 million Coptic Orthodox Christians in the world: they are found primarily in Egypt (roughly 11 million) but there are also significant numbers in North America, Europe, Australia, Sudan and Israel, and in diaspora throughout the world making approximately another 4 million, in Ethiopia (roughly 38 million,<ref>WCC official visit to Ethiopia World Council of Churches - News Release. 21 September, 2005. Retrieved 25 November 2006. </ref> which is over half of Ethiopia's population), and in Eritrea (roughly 2.5 million).

However, as applied to the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, which in 1959 was granted its first own Patriarch by Coptic Pope Cyril VI of Alexandria, the word Coptic can be considered a misnomer because it means Egyptian. The Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Church similarly became independent of the Ethiopian Tewahedo Church during the early 1990s.

These three churches remain in full communion with each other and with the other Oriental Orthodox churches. The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church and the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church do acknowledge the Coptic Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria as their honorary Superior, since the Church of Alexandria is technically their Mother Church. Both Patriarchs (Ethiopian & Eritrean), upon their selection must receive the approval and communion from the Holy Synod of the Apostolic See of Alexandria before their enthronement.

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Ethiopian priests (pictured here) are often mistaken for Coptic Priests

There is also a Greek Orthodox Pope & Patriarch of Alexandria (About 250,000 to 300,000 in Egypt, another 1.5 million in Africa, plus about 300,000 to 400,000 native Africans and 10,000 to 15,000 ex-patriates in Europe, North and South America). The most current Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria is Pope Theodoros II.<ref>Pope Theodoros II</ref>

There is a small Coptic Catholic Church which is headed by a Coptic Catholic Patriarch of Alexandria (About 700,000 in Egypt and about 50,000 abroad)

The Melkite Catholic Church (Eastern Rite Catholic) has little presence in Egypt, but is headed by a Patriarch of Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem (About 175,000 in Egypt). Small Protestant (Coptic Evangelical - about 750,000 - 800,000 in Egypt) and Anglican(Episcopal Church - about 10,000 to 15,000 in Egypt) denominations also exist.

Since the 1980s theologians from the Oriental (Non-Chalcedonian) Orthodox and Eastern (Chalcedonian) Orthodox churches have been meeting in a bid to resolve the theological differences, and have concluded that many of the differences are caused by the two groups using different terminology to describe the same thing (see Agreed Official Statements on Christology with the Eastern Orthodox Churches).

In the summer of 2001, the Coptic Orthodox and Greek Orthodox Patriarchates of Alexandria agreed<ref>Official Statements on Christology.</ref> to mutually recognize baptisms performed in each other's churches, making re-baptisms unnecessary, and to recognize the sacrament of marriage as celebrated by the other. Previously, if a Coptic Orthodox and Greek Orthodox wanted to marry, the marriage had to be performed twice, once in each church, for it to be recognized by both. Now it can be done in only one church and be recognized by both.

According to Christian Tradition and Canon Law, the Coptic Orthodox Church only ordains men, and if they wish to be married, they must be married before they are ordained. In this respect they follow the same practices as does the Eastern Orthodox Church.

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Egyptian Copt praying in church

Traditionally, the Coptic language was used in church services, and the scriptures were written in the Coptic alphabet. However, due to the arabisation of Egypt, service in churches started to witness increased use of Arabic, while preaching is done entirely in Arabic. Native languages are used, in conjunction with Coptic and Arabic, during services outside of Egypt.

Coptic Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas on the 7th of January according to the Gregorian Calendar , which is the 25th of December according to the Julian Calendar, which the Alexandrine Church uses as its Ecclesiastical Calendar. It is known as the Coptic calendar and also known as the Alexandrian Calendar, which in turn, is based on the old Egyptian calendar of pharaonic Egypt. The Coptic Orthodox Church is thus considered an Old Calendrist Church. Christmas, according to the Julian-based calendar, has been since 2002 an official national holiday in Egypt.

[edit] Official title of the Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of All Africa

The leader of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria , is known as Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of all Africa on the Holy See of St. Mark the Apostle.

His full title is Pope and Lord Archbishop of the Great City of Alexandria and Patriarch of All Africa on the Holy Orthodox and Apostolic Throne of Saint Mark the Evangelist and Holy Apostle that is, in Egypt, Pentapolis, Libya, Nubia, Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea and all Africa.

The Successor of St. Mark the Evangelist, Holy Apostle and Martyr, on the Holy Apostolic Throne of the Great City of Alexandria.

Pope of Alexandria, being the Diocesan Bishop of Alexandria.

Elder Metropolitan Archbishop of the Egyptian Province.

Primate of Egypt, Pentapolis, Libya, Nubia and Sudan.

Patriarch of All Africa.

The Pillar and Defender of the Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church and of the Orthodox Faith.

The Dean of the Great Catechetical School of Theology of Alexandria.

The Ecumenical (Universal) Judge (Arbitrator) of the Holy Apostolic and Catholic (Universal) Church.

The Thirteenth among the Holy Apostles.

Father of Fathers.

Shepherd of Shepherds.

Hierarch of all Hierarchs.

[edit] The Episcopal title of the Bishop of Alexandria

“Pope and Lord Archbishop of the Great City of Alexandria and Patriarch of all Africa on the Holy Apostolic Throne of Saint Mark the Evangelist and Holy Apostle.”

The appellation of “Pope” has been attributed to the Bishop of Alexandria since the Episcopate of Heraclas, the thirteenth Bishop of Alexandria. All the clergy of Alexandria and Lower Egypt honored him with the appellation “Papas,” which means “Our Father,” as the Senior and Elder Bishop among all bishops, within the Egyptian Province, who are under his jurisdiction.

Since Alexandria was the Capital of the Province, the preaching center and the place of martyrdom of St. Mark the Evangelist and Holy Apostle, the title: “Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of all Africa on the Holy Throne of Saint Mark the Evangelist and Holy Apostle," also known as “Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and all Africa” in short, was that of the Bishop of Alexandria.

The appellation of “Pope” became recognized as a Title, but this did not mean that it represented a title different or higher than the title of “Patriarch.” It is to be noted, however, that only the Patriarch of Alexandria has the double title of Pope and Patriarch among the Eastern Orthodox Thrones.

This title, however, does not have the same meaning as that of the Bishop of Rome, who was the only Primate in the West to be given the title of “Pope” in the beginning of the fifth century. The title of Pope of Rome is considered by the Roman Catholic Church, as the “Supreme Pontiff," holding the office of the Holy Apostolic See (being the successor of St. Peter, the Prince of the Apostles) and accordingly, the only Vicar of Christ on earth (The Church Visible.)

Thus, from the Roman Catholic Church’s point of view, the Pope of Rome is elevated in dignity and jurisdiction above the other four Patriarchs of the Major Apostolic Thrones in the East (Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem) or in other words, he is considered as their superior. This is obviously not the case for the Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria.

The title Patriarch means the Head or the Leader of a Tribe or a Community. Ecclesiastically it means the Head of the Fathers (Bishops) and their congregation of faithful. This title is historically known as “Patriarch of Alexandria and all Africa on the Holy Apostolic Throne of St. Mark the Evangelist,” that is “of Alexandria and of all Africa.” The title of “Patriarch” was first used around the time of the Third Ecumenical Council of Ephesus, convened in 431 AD, and ratified at Chalcedon in 451 AD.

The Bishop of Alexandria also has the title of Archbishop.” This is a natural jurisdictional title for the Ecclesiastical Dignity of the Bishop of Alexandria. Ruling as a Metropolitan, the bishop of the Metropolis (i.e. Alexandria), had jurisdiction over the Roman Empire Provinces of Egypt (Lower Egypt I, Lower Egypt II, Arcadia, Upper Egypt I & Upper Egypt II), Pentapolis, Libya and Nubia, which were at that time, the extent of the “Egyptian Provinces” within the Holy Roman Empire. As set by the Ecumenical Council of Nicea (325 AD), the jurisdiction of the Archepiscopate of Alexandria covered the above-mentioned Provinces.

But since the demise of the Latin (Roman) North African Archepiscopate of Carthage (which covered all of North and West Africa, apart from Egypt, Pentapolis & Lybia) in the 8th century, Alexandria became the sole Apostolic Throne in the entire continent of Africa (or what was known of it at that time). It is to be noted that actually, the historical evangelization of the Apostolic Throne of Alexandria in Africa, apart from Egypt, Pentapolis, Libya, Nubia and the Sudan, does extend to:

Ethiopia:

· It constituted a Major Archdiocese of the Church of Alexandria, which was always governed by an Egyptian Patriarchal Vicar in the rank of Archbishop, and named Aboune Salama by the Ethiopian Church. By 1929, the Alexandrine Throne allowed the Ethiopian Clergy to participate in the governing of their own Church, and the first native Ethiopian Archbishop was enthroned in 1930 (thus becoming an Autonomous Church).

· In 1959, an agreement was reached between the Ethiopian Holy Synod and the Alexandrine Throne to have their own Patriarch-Catholicos in a transitional period. The Ethiopian Archbishop ordained as Primate of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church back in 1950, was elevated by the Alexandrine Patriarch in Cairo and enthroned in Addis Ababa by the members of the Ethiopian Holy Synod and an Alexandrine delegation. The first Prelate, His Beatitude Aboune Basilius I (1959-1971), Patriarch-Catholicos of Addis Ababa and all Ethiopia, was ordained and enthroned in 1959, by the saintly remembered and the thrice blessed the late Pope Cyril VI of Alexandria.

· The Patriarchate of Addis Ababa and of all Ethiopia is now headed by its 5th Patriarch, His Beatitude Aboune Paulos I (1992- ). This is after the Patriarchates of H.B. the late Aboune Theophilus I (1971-1979) (Deposed in a non-canonical way in 1976, sent to prison and murdered in prison in 1979), H.B. the late Aboune Thecla Hemanote I (1976-1988) (who was elected in a non canonical manner by pressure of the then Communist Government to replace his predecessor.) & H.B. Abouna Mercurios I (1988-1991), (who resigned under pressure, due to the accusation of collaborating with the (Dereg) Menghistu Communist Regime, and who is now living in self exile in Kenya ).

· His Beatitude Aboune Paulos I has requested from the Alexandrine Throne complete independence to his Patriarchate. The Patriarchate of Addis Ababa and all Ethiopia was granted its independence in 1994, by H.H. Shenouda III Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria, thus making the Patriarchate of Addis Ababa and all Ethiopia hierarchically and jurisdictionally independent “Autocephalous Patriarchate.”

Eritrea:

· Whose own Prelate, H. B. the late Aboune Philipos I (1998-2002), Patriarch of Asmara and of all Eritrea, was ordained and enthroned in May 1998, by H. H. Pope Shenouda III Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria. This made the new Patriarchate of Asmara and of all Eritrea hierarchically and jurisdictionally independent “Autocephalous Patriarchate.” The Current Prelate, H.B. Aboune Antonius I (2004- ), is the third Patriarch of Asmara and all Eritrea, who succeeded H.B. the late Yacob I (2003-2004) the second Patriarch of Asmara and all Eritrea. However, he was deposed non-canonically in January 2006, and replaced by H.B. Aboune Discoros I. This action is however not approved by the Alexandrine Throne and is still under debate.[citation needed]

Both the Patriarchate of Addis Ababa & all Ethiopia and the Patriarchate of Asmara & all Eritrea do acknowledge the supremacy of honor & dignity of the Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria on the basis that both Patriarchates were established by the Throne of Alexandria and that they have their roots in the Apostolic Church of Alexandria and acknowledge that Saint Mark the Apostle is the founder of their Churches through the heritage and Apostolic evangelization of the Fathers of Alexandria.

In other words, the Patriarchate of Addis Ababa & All Ethiopia and the Patriarchate of Asmara & All Eritrea are daughter Churches of the Holy Apostolic Patriarchate of Alexandria.

In addition to the above, the countries of Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, the Congo, Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana, Botswana, Malawi, Angola, Namibia and South Africa are under the jurisdiction and the evangelization of the Throne of Alexandria. It is still expanding in the vast continent of Africa.

[edit] The Honorary titles of the Patriarch of Alexandria

· The Dean of the Great Catechetical School of Theology of Alexandria:

This is a customary title, which many patriarchs of Alexandria have held since the episcopacy of St. Justus (the 6th Bishop of Alexandria), and which was recently revived by H.H. Shenouda III.

· The Ecumenical Judge of the Holy Apostolic and Orthodox Church of God:

This was a title given to St. Alexander I (the 19th Archbishop of Alexandria), in honor of the canonical responsibilities bestowed upon the Primates of Alexandria thereafter, to determine the date of the Pascha, and to convey ecclesiastical letters of notification to all Hierarchies of the Universal Church, along with the Paschal encyclical. This was officially agreed upon and ratified at the Ecumenical Council of Nicea(325 AD).

· The Thirteenth among the Holy Apostles:

This title was given to St. Athanasius I (the 20th Archbishop of Alexandria), in honor of his apostolic defiance against heresies, especially the Arian heresy. He endured 5 exiles before his final victory over them, which eventually safeguarded the Orthodoxy of the Universal Church. This is why he is entitled as the "The Apostolic," meaning that he reached the level of the Holy Apostles, in his struggle to preserve and to safeguard the true Christian Orthodox Faith. He is also known as equal to the Apostles.

· The Pillar and Defender of the Holy Catholic Church and of the Orthodox Doctrine:

This title was given to St. Cyril I, the Great (the 24th Archbishop of Alexandria) in memory of his heroic defense against the Nestorian Heresy and his defense of the Title of “Theotokos," attributed to the Most Holy Virgin Mary, to establish the correct theological and dogmatic explanation of the Orthodox belief in the True and undivided Divine and Human Natures of the only Son of God Incarnate, which is masterly articulated in: (Μια Φυσις τоυ Θεоυ Λογου Σεσαρκουμενε).

All these Hierarchical and Honorary titles were bestowed upon the Bishop who occupies the Holy Apostolic Throne of Alexandria, among other reasons, as a constant reminder of the greatness of this Throne, and what it has accomplished and endured in the name of the indestructible Holy Orthodox Faith.

[edit] Historical evolution of the ecclesiastical title

The Bishop of Alexandria was first known just as the “Bishop of Alexandria” since St. Ananius, the first Bishop of Alexandria, who was ordained by St. Mark the Evangelist and Holy Apostle, where the latter preached and evangelized in the City of Alexandria. It continued to be so, until the Church grew within and all over the Egyptian Province, and many Bishops were consecrated for the newly founded parishes all over the towns and cities.

The Bishop of Alexandria, being the successor of the first Bishop, the one who was first consecrated by St. Mark, was honored by the other Bishops, as first among equals “Primus enter Pares," as a mean of Church hierarchical recognition and organization. This was in addition to the appropriate honorary dignity, which was due by virtue of being the Senior Bishop of the main Metropolis of the Province, meaning “Alexandria,” (being also the Capital and the main Port of the Province).

This honor was bestowed by making the Senior Bishop an Archbishop,” thus presiding in dignity of honor over all the Alexandrine and Egyptian Bishops. So was the case among other Provinces in the Roman Empire East & West (Rome, Antioch, Jerusalem, Ephesus, Ceasaria, Edessa, Seleucia and many others major Metropolitanates), as the Bishops of these Major Cities, and those who were presiding over the Churches, which were first established within the region, became to be known as Archbishops.

Eventually the Archbishop of Alexandria became the first among the Bishops of the Egyptian Province, presiding in dignity, honor and jurisdiction too. This title was first officially used at the beginning of the fourth century, as it was clearly documented in the official annals & minutes of the First Ecumenical Council of Nicea (325 AD), and in many documented historical and ecclesiastical manuscripts and books.

The local clergy of Alexandria and the Egyptian Bishops began to use the appellation of “Papas” when addressing the Bishop of Alexandria, St. Heraclas (the 13th Bishop of Alexandria in the middle of the 3rd Century). This was not used as a recognition of his jurisdictional authority but most essentially, as a sign of love towards their Primate. The appellation “Papas” was later used as a title for the Bishop of Alexandria, (sometime between the Fifth and the Seventh Century,) whose title of course, was and still is the Archbishop of Alexandria. There is a clear and distinct difference between “appellation” and “title” as mentioned above.

Between the Third Ecumenical Council of Ephesus (381AD) and the Fourth Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon (451AD), the Archbishops of the Eastern and Western Roman Empires (i.e. the Archbishops of Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem, also known as the Archbishops of the Ancient Apostolic Thrones), were given the title of “Patriarch.” These titles were ratified at the Fourth Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon (451AD), and henceforth were known historically as the Ancient Patriarchates of the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Orthodox Church or otherwise as the Pentarchy.

It is to be noted that the appellation of “Papas” was also enjoyed by the Bishop of Carthage by the late second & early third Centuries, most probably taken from Alexandria or from the common tradition of Pentapolis (under Alexandrine Jurisdiction) as it was quite common to call the Senior Bishop of Alexandria and the Senior Bishop of Pentapolis (who, by the way, was the second in importance and command after the Bishop of Alexandria. And known as the Elder of Pentapolis)“Papas.” This may explain how, later on, the Bishop of Rome began to use the title of Pope; the appellation was carried over from the Bishop of Carthage.

The city of Carthage was part of the Latin Church of Rome (As the Church of Rome used the Latin language as its main Ecclesiastical Language). The name “Papas” or “Pope” was at that time only an appellation and was not considered as a title of jurisdiction or power or even an ecclesiastical rank higher than that of an Archbishop.

To recapitulate, the Bishop of Alexandria was first known as the Bishop of Alexandria. Later, due to the importance and dignity of Alexandria as a Major Christian Center and as an Ancient Apostolic Throne, and in addition to the fact that the Bishop of Alexandria is the successor of the first Bishop on the Throne of Alexandria, he was given the title of “Archbishop” by the late Third Century. He was already called by the Alexandrine clergy and by all the Egyptian Bishops “Papas,” since the mid of the Third Century.

By the middle of the Fifth Century, the title ofPatriarch was bestowed upon all Major Apostolic Thrones of the Holy Catholic, Apostolic and Orthodox Church (ratified by the Fourth Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon in 451AD). By this title, it meant that these Patriarchates have geographical jurisdiction based upon either the extent (domain) of the natural borders of their Provinces, or as set by Church Ecumenical Councils and/or Church Tradition.

Later, between the Fifth and Seventh Century, the appellation of “Papas” or “Pope” became somehow a title along with the Archiepiscopal and Patriarchal titles of the Bishop of Alexandria. This, however, did not mean that the title of “Pope” denoted a higher hierarchical or ecclesiastical dignity or rank than that of the title and rank of Patriarch given to the Bishop of Alexandria.

[edit] Historical notes regarding the Primacy of Dignity & of Honor among the Apostolic Thrones

It is to be noted that among the Eastern Orthodox Patriarchates, only the Patriarch of Alexandria enjoys the double title of Pope and Patriarch, although they are all equal in dignity and in honor.

There is however a status of first among equals “Primus enter Pares” for the Archbishop of Constantinople. This status is implemented when all Hierarchs are gathered together “In Synaxis” in a Council discussing matters of Faith or Dogma or even when concelebrating. This status is due to the fact that the Archbishop of Constantinople was granted the second Primacy of Dignity and Honor after the Archbishop of Rome according to the 1st Cannon Law of the Ecumenical Council of Constantinople held in 381 AD, and was also granted the title of “Ecumenical Patriarch” according to the Canon Laws of the Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon in 451 AD.

The Patriarchate of Constantinople became the Church of the Imperial City of the Holy Roman Empire, thus enjoying, for always and even after the demise of the Roman and the Byzantine Empires, the privilege of the Imperial City of being “First,” but according to the understanding of the Orthodox Church, “among Equals” in Dignity and Honor but not in Jurisdiction.

The status of “First among Equals,” as held by the Holy and Apostolic Church, was originally given to the Imperial Throne of Rome (as per the 1st Canon Law of the Ecumenical Council of Constantinople in 381 AD), until the Schism of 1054 AD, when the West was separated from the East.

After 1054 AD, the Imperial Throne of Constantinople, also known as “New Rome,” which until that time, held the second place in Honor and Dignity after the Throne of Rome “Old Rome”, rose to the status of “First among equals” among the Orthodox Churches in the East. This change made the status of the Throne of Alexandria change from being the third after Rome and Constantinople before the Schism to the second place after Constantinople after the Schism.

It is to be noted however that before the convening of the First Ecumenical Council at Nicea in 325 AD, the importance and fame of the Throne of Alexandria was greater than any other Church in the East or West. Theology & Dogma, taught in the famous Catechetical School of Theology of Alexandria rivaled the Great Alexandrine School of Pagan Philosophy; thus it reigned without rival among theological schools of Christianity in defending the Orthodox faith. The fact that it was the cradle of Monasticism and Patristic Leadership, the Throne of Alexandria became the most prominent among the major Apostolic Thrones East & West.

On the other hand, the Throne of Rome had always kept its pre-eminence and primacy of honor among all Churches, due to the fact that it was the place of martyrdom of both St. Peter and St. Paul, the heads of the Apostles, and for also being the Imperial City. This made the Bishop of Rome rise as First among Equals in Dignity and in Honor, followed by the Bishop of Alexandria, who stood as Second among Equals, solely based on the merit of the Alexandrine Throne’s fame.

When the Ecumenical Council of Constantinople was convened in 381 AD, the Emperor made the newly formed Throne of Constantinople, at an equal status in honor and dignity with the Imperial Throne of Rome, giving it the title of “New Rome.” This status was due to the fact that Emperor Constantine decided to move the Imperial Palace and Court from Rome to the new city of Constantinople, which was built over the small town of Byzantium. This in turn caused the Throne of Alexandria to become the third in Dignity and Honor after Imperial Rome and Imperial Constantinople.

[edit] Accuracy in the description of the title of the Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of All Africa

It is also important to pinpoint that the most correct and accurate description of the title of the Bishop of Alexandria, while being in accordance with the Ecumenical Canon Laws of the Universal Church, is to call him: “Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of all Africa,” rather than the inappropriate title: “Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark the Evangelist”.

The first reason for this particular title, rather than the wrongly used second one, is that the title of Patriarch was, is and will never be attributed to the apostolic founder of the Throne, but rather to the jurisdictional region of the Throne (Patriarchate), which the Patriarch has under his dominion. For example:

1) The Pope of Rome and Patriarch of the West for the Bishop of Rome (although the latter title was officially dropped as on 2006), but not the Pope of Rome and the Patriarch of the See of Saints Peter & Paul the Apostles.

2) The Patriarch of Antioch and of all the East for the Bishop of Antioch, but not the Patriarch of Antioch and the See of Saint Peter the Apostle.

3) The Patriarch of Jerusalem, Palestine (Holy Zion) and all Arabia, but not the Patriarch of Jerusalem and of the See of St. James the Apostle.

4) The Archbishop of Constantinople and Ecumenical Patriarch (the Ecumeme: The land beyond what was known or what was under the dominion of the Bishop of Rome within the Roman Empire, i.e. the land of the Berber.) for the Bishop of Constantinople, but not the Archbishop of Constantinople and Patriarch of the See of Saint Andrew the Apostle.

5) The Patriarch of Moscow and of all Russia for the Bishop of Moscow, but not the Patriarch of Moscow and of the See of St. Andrew the Apostle or of Prince St.Vladimir (who brought Christianity to Russia).

The second reason is that the title of a Throne, and for that matter any Patriarchate, should be in accordance with the Ecumenical Canon Laws of the Universal Church (Nicea, Constantinople and Chalcedon). This stipulates that, in the case of the Bishop of Alexandria, he has under his dominion the Egyptian Provinces, Pentapolis, Libya and Nubia, (which were at that time the extent of the known, explored and civilized parts of the East African Continent.) These lands were in fact, along with the Latin Archepiscopate of Carthage, which included the Provinces of Africa (Tunisia), Numedia (Algeria) & Mauritania (Morocco), all of what was known of the Continent of Africa at that time.

With the demise of the North African Latin Archepiscopate of Carthage, which was under the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Rome as per the Canon Law of the Ecumenical Council of Nicea; the entire north and east of the African Continent was eventually claimed and became entirely under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Alexandria. Later in history, the rest of the African Continent was discovered and evangelized and became, in reality, under the reachable jurisdiction and the dominion of the Bishop of Alexandria.

If, on the other hand, the title of the Bishop of Alexandria is to be known only as “Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark,” it would imply as stipulated by this title that the “See of St. Mark” is a vague geographical jurisdiction with no defined boundaries and accordingly extends to wherever those, who are under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Alexandria, reside, without defined regional boundaries.

This means too that if whoever lives and settles outside Africa, then the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Alexandria extends to wherever he/she resides, because he/she is under the jurisdiction of the “See of St. Mark.” This is canonically wrong and would be in defiance with the Canon Laws of the Church as mentioned above; thwarting the fundamental reasons behind the definition of the jurisdiction of the Apostolic Thrones in the Canon Laws of the Church, especially when dioceses are established outside the region of the canonical jurisdiction of the Bishop of Alexandria (that is, outside Africa). This means that it constitutes a jurisdictional trespassing of the dominion of other Apostolic Thrones.

The wording of “the See of Saint Mark” could be incorporated, if desired, after the appropriate and correct title of the Patriarchate, meaning “Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of all Africa on the See (Throne) of Saint Mark the Holy Apostle ”. In like manner, the title of the Patriarchate should be “The (Coptic) Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and of all Africa” and not “The Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate” or “The Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate of Egypt” or the more commonly used “The Coptic Orthodox Church”.

The addition of “Coptic” is optional, because it does not constitute any official, ecclesiastical or canonical title, apart from a distinguishable designation from its Chalcedonian (Eastern Orthodox) counterpart, the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and adds an ethnic flavor, which is foreign to the Apostolic Church concept of its Catholicity.

In fact, the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and all Africa actually use the correct designation or title for the Patriarchate, whenever there is a reference to it: “The Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and of all Africa.” Even the designation “Orthodox” is just added to differentiate between the Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and its Catholic counterpart imposed by Rome.

[edit] Polity in extending pastoral care

The correct (politically correct) pastoral care that should be extended to those who reside outside the region of the canonical jurisdiction of the Bishop of Alexandria, or for that matter, any other Throne that has set jurisdictional boundaries, would be in the form of Patriarchal delegates known as “Patriarchal Exarchs”.

Forming “Patriarchal Exarchates” rather than “Jurisdictional Dioceses” outside the African continent to care for those who live outside the canonical jurisdiction of their Church and for those who wish to remain under the canonical jurisdiction and care of the Bishop of Alexandria would be the canonical way to extend such pastoral care.

In this way, the Apostolic Exarchates will not be in defiance or contradiction with the Canon Laws of the Church, but they will be considered as “Embassies of the Patriarchate of Alexandria” in these Lands (Countries), rather than “Jurisdictional Dioceses," which are outside the defined canonical jurisdiction.

The Administrators (Ordinaries/Prelates) of these Exarchates, could be Archpriests, Bishops or Archbishops; appointed as Patriarchal Exarchs of the Alexandrine Throne; this of course, will be with the proper notification and approval of the ruling Hierarchs of these Lands. This approach should be mutual between all the Ancient Apostolic Patriarchates, which has set jurisdictional boundaries.


[edit] Jurisdiction of the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria

[edit] Administrative divisions of the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria

  • 11 Metropolitanates with 10 Metropolitans (1 Vacant Metropolitanate).
  • 53 Dioceses in Egypt and outside Egypt with 51 Diocesan Bishops plus 2 Bishops shepherding a particular flock {the Eritreans} in the U.S.A. and the United Kingdom, while 2 Dioceses remain vacant.
  • 9 Auxiliary Bishops (1 in a Diocese in France, 2 in Dioceses in Egypt and 6 assistants to H.H. the Pope in the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Cairo, which is directly under the responsibility of H.H. the Pope)
  • 5 Patriarchal Exarchs (2 In the Archdiocese of North America, 1 in the United Kingdom and 2 in East and South Africa)
  • 9 Bishop Abbots of Patriarchal Monastaries, plus 2 Monasteries awaiting the nomination of its Bishop Abbot.
  • 7 General Bishops, including 2 Bishops heading Patriarchal Institutions, 2 Bishops Secretaries of H.H. the Pope and 3 General Bishops without portfolios.
  • 1 Chor-bishop.

[edit] The Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria

Primate and Pontiff

1) His Holiness Shenouda III (Senouthius III), Pope and Lord Archbishop of the Great City of Alexandria, Primate of all the Egyptian Province & Patriarch of all Africa on the Holy Throne of St. Mark the Evangelist, the Holy Apostle & Martyr.

Metropolitans of the Throne:

2) His Eminence Mikhail (Michael), Metropolitan of the Holy Metropolitanate of Assiut (Lycopolis) & Abbot of St. Macarius the Great Monastery, in Scetis, Lower Egypt.

3) His Eminence Domadius (Dometius), Metropolitan of the Holy Metropolitanate of Giza (Memphis) & Atfieh (Aphroditopolis).

4) His Eminence Pachomius, Metropolitan of the Holy Metropolitanate of Beheira (Thmui & Hermopolis Parva), Mariout (Mariotis), Mersa Matrouh (Antiphrae & Paractorium), Libya (Livis) & Titular Bishop of Pentapolis (Cyrenica).

5) His Eminence Pishoy (Pisoios), Metropolitan of the Holy Metropolitanate of Damietta (Thamiates), Kafr El Sheikh (Xais) & Belquas & General Secretary of the Holy Synod.

6) His Eminence Marcus (Mark), Metropolitan of the Holy Metropolitanate of Toulon and all France, Primate of the French Orthodox Church, France.

7) His Eminence Abraham I, Metropolitan of the Holy and Great City of Our Lord, Jerusalem, Holy Zion, Archbishop of the Holy Archdiocese of Jerusalem (Ierosolimon), All Palestine, Philadelphia of Jordan & the Near East.

8) His Eminence Seraphim, Metropolitan of the Holy Metropolitanate of Glastonbury, Primate of the British Orthodox Church, United Kingdom.

9) His Eminence Hedra, Metropolitan of the Holy Metropolitanate of Aswan (Syene) & Abbot of St. Hedra Monastery.

10) His Eminence Wissa (Besa), Metropolitan of the Holy Metropolitanate of Balyanna (Abidos), Berdis, Awlad Tokh & its Jurisdictions.

11) His Eminence Arsenius, Metropolitan of the Holy Metropolitanate of El Menia & Abou Qurquas.

Bishops of the Throne:

12) His Grace Ammonius (Amon), Bishop of the Holy Diocese of Luxor, Esna & Armant (Thebes, Maximianopolis, Latopolis, Hermonthis & Appolinopolis Magna) (Relieved from Eparchial Shepherding).

13) His Grace Benyamin (Benjamin), Bishop of the Holy Diocese of Menoufia (Prosopolis).

14) His Grace Pavnotius, Bishop of the Holy Diocese of Samalot & Taha El Aaameda.

15) His Grace Angelos, Bishop of the Holy Diocese of El Sharqueya (Facusa & Tannis).

16) His Grace Tadros (Theodoros), Bishop of the Holy Diocese of Port Said (Pelusium & Farma).

17) His Grace Ignatius, Bishop of the Holy Diocese of Suez (Klyzma).

18) His Grace Yacobos (Jacob), Bishop of the Holy Diocese of Zaggazig (Bubastis) and Mina El Qamh

19) His Grace Kyrillos (Cyril), Bishop of the Holy Diocese of Nag’Hammadi (Diospolis Parva) & Abou Tesht.

20) His Grace Paula (Paul), Bishop of the Holy Diocese of Tanta (Tana).

21) His Grace Marcus (Mark), Bishop of the Holy Diocese of Shoubra El Kheima.

22) His Grace Ashe’yia (Isaiah), Bishop of the Holy Diocese of Tahta & Guehena (Aphroditopolis & Hispis)

23) His Grace Fam, Bishop of the Holy Diocese of Tema.

24) His Grace Pissada, Bishop of the Holy Diocese of Akhmim, Saqualta (Panopolis) & Mount Akhmim Holy Monasteries.

25) His Grace Andrawos (Andrew), Bishop of the Holy Diocese of Abou Tig, Sedfa & Ghanayem.

26) His Grace Missael, Bishop of the Holy Diocese of Birmingham and all the Midlands, England & Wales, UK.

27) His Grace Abram III, Bishop of the Holy Diocese of El Fayoum (Crocodilopolis, Arsinoe & Philadelphia) & Abbot of Archangel Gabriel Monastery in the Naqloun Mountain, Central Egypt.

28) His Grace Serapion, Bishop of the Holy Diocese of Los Angeles, Southern California & Hawaii, USA.

29) His Grace Demetrius, Bishop of the Holy Diocese of Malawy, Anssanna & El Ashmounin (Antinopolis & Hermopolis).

30) His Grace Lucas (Luke), Bishop of the Holy Diocese of Abnoub & El Fatt’h.

31) His Grace Bakhoum (Pachomius), Bishop of the Holy Diocese of Sohag, Mansha’a & Maragha (Athribis & Ptolemais).

32) His Grace Barsoum (Parsoma), Bishop of the Holy Diocese of Dairut & Sanabou.

33) His Grace Antonius (Anthony), Bishop of the Holy Diocese of Manfalot.

34) His Grace Picenti (Pisentios), Bishop of the Holy Diocese of Helwan & Maasara.

35) His Grace Kyrillos (Cyril), Bishop of the Holy Diocese of Milano and Northern Italy & Abbot of St. Shenouda the Archimandrite Monastery in Milano, Italy.

36) His Grace Aghapius, Bishop the Holy Diocese of Deir Mouwas & Delgua.

37) His Grace Thomas, Bishop of the Holy Diocese of El Quousseya (Cusaie) & Meir.

38) His Grace Matthias, Bishop of the Holy Diocese of El Mahala El Kobra (Sebennitos). (Resigned & Deposed)

39) His Grace Cheroubim (Cherubim), Bishop of the Holy Diocese of Quena, Qift & Jurisdictions.

40) His Grace Pimen, Bishop of the Holy Diocese of Nekada (Appolinopolis Parva) & Qous.

41) His Grace Thecla, Bishop of the Holy Diocese of Dishna (Tentyra) & Jurisdictions.

42) His Grace Macarius, Bishop of the Eritrean Church in the USA. Member of the Eritrean Holy Synod.

43) His Grace Marcus (Mark), Bishop of the Eritrean Church in the UK. Member of the Eritrean Holy Synod.

44) His Grace Theophilus, Bishop of the Holy Diocese of Hurghada & the Red Sea.

45) His Grace Maximus, Bishop of the Holy Diocese of Benha (Leontopolis) & Quouwaysena (Athribis).

46) His Grace Sarapamon (Serapis Amon), Bishop of the Holy Diocese of Atbara, Um Dourman & the North of the Sudan & Titular Bishop of Nubia.

47) His Grace Antony, Bishop of the Holy Diocese of Ireland, Scotland & Northeast England, UK.

48) His Grace Damian, Bishop of the Holy Diocese of Hoexter-Brenkenhausen, Kroeffelbach & All Germany & Abbot of the Monastery of St. Anthony the Great in Kroeffelbach, Germany.

49) His Grace Youssef (Joseph), Bishop of the Holy Diocese of Southern United States, USA.

50) His Grace Barnaba, Bishop of the Holy Diocese of Torino and Southern Italy.

51) His Grace Suriel, Bishop of the Holy Diocese of Melbourne, Victoria, Tasmania, ACT, South Australia, Western Australia, New Zealand and All Oceania.

52) His Grace Gabriel, Bishop of the Holy Diocese of Beni Suef & Bahnasa (Heracleopolis Magna).

53) His Grace Georgios (George), Bishop of the Holy Diocese of Matay (Ankyronpolis) & Jurisdictions.

54) His Grace Stephanos (Stephen), Bishop of the Holy Diocese of Beba, Samasta & El Fashn (Oxyrhynchus).

55) His Grace Gabriel, Bishop of the Holy Diocese of Vienna and all Austria.

56) His Grace Ilia (Elijah), Bishop of the Holy Diocese of Khartoum & the South of the Sudan.

57) His Grace Seraphim, Bishop of the Holy Diocese of Ismailia.

58) His Grace Apollo, Bishop of the Holy Diocese of El Tor, Sharm El Sheikh & All South Sinai.

59) His Grace Athanasius, Bishop of the Holy Diocese of Beni Mazar.

60) His Grace Aghathon, Bishop of the Holy Diocese of Maghagha & `Edwa.

61) His Grace Kosman (Cosmas), Bishop of the Holy Diocese of El Arish, Port Tawfik, El Quantara & All North Sinai.

62) His Grace Daniel, Bishop of the Holy Diocese of Sydney, New South Wales, Queensland, Northern Territory, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan & all East Asia.

63) His Grace Dawood (David), Bishop of the Holy Diocese of Mansoura (Leontopolis) & Abbot of St. George Monastery at Meit Demsis, Lower Egypt.

64) His Grace Aghathon, Bishop the Holy Diocese of Sao Paolo and All Brazil.

65) His Grace Youssef (Joseph), Bishop of the Holy Diocese of Santa Cruz and All Bolivia.

Auxiliary Bishops of the Throne:

66) His Grace Athanasius, Auxiliary Bishop of the Holy Metropolitanate of Toulon and All France, Assistant to H.E Marcos, French Orthodox Church.

67) His Grace Daniel, Auxiliary Bishop for Maadi District in Cairo, Assistant to H.H. the Pope.

68) His Grace Raphael, Auxiliary Bishop for Central Cairo & Heliopolis in Cairo, Assistant to H.H. the Pope.

69) His Grace Tawadros (Theodorus), Auxiliary Bishop for the Holy Diocese of El Behera (Thumi & Hermopolis Parva), assistant to H.E. Pachomius.

70) His Grace Maximos (Maximus), Auxiliary Bishop for Irininoupolis (Dar El Salam) in Cairo, Assistant to H.H. the Pope.

71) His Grace Silwanos (Silvanus), Auxiliary Bishop for Old Cairo (Babylon) & Assistant to H.H. the Pope.

72) His Grace Timotheos (Timothy), Auxiliary Bishop for El Mataria, Ain Shams & Ezbet El Nakhl, Assistant to H.H. the Pope.

73) His Grace Martyrus, Auxiliary Bishop for East of the Railroad District, Cairo, Assistant to H.H. the Pope.

74) His Grace Macarius, Auxiliary Bishop for the Holy Diocese of El Menia, Assistant to H.E. Arsenius.

Exarchs of the Throne:

75) His Grace Antonius Markos (Anthony Mark), General Bishop for African Affairs & Patriarchal Exarch in West & South Africa.

76) His Grace Youhanna (John), General Bishop & Patriarchal Exarch in Cedar Grove, New Jersey, Archdiocese of North America.

77) His Grace Boules (Paul), General Bishop for Evangelization & Missionaries & Patriarchal Exarch in East & Central Africa.

78) His Grace David, General Bishop & Patriarchal Exarch in Cedar Grove, New Jersey, Archdiocese of North America.

79) His Grace Angelos, General Bishop & Patriarchal Exarch for the Youth Ministry at the Patriarchal Center and the Coptic Orthodox Theological College at Stevenage, U.K.

Bishop Abbots of the Holy and Sacred Monasteries of the Throne:

80) His Grace Sarapamon (Serapis Amon), Bishop & Abbot of St. Pishoy Monastery in the Scetis Desert, Lower Egypt.

81) His Grace Sawiros (Severus), Bishop & Abbot of the Most Holy Virgin Mary (aka El Moharraq) Monastery, Upper Egypt.

82) His Grace Mattheos (Matthew), Bishop & Abbot of the Most Holy Virgin Mary (aka El Sourian/The Syrian) Monastery, in the Scetis Desert, Lower Egypt.

83) His Grace Basilius (Basil), Bishop & Abbot of St. Samuel the Confessor Monastery, in the El Qualamon Mountain

84) His Grace Yustus (Justus), Bishop & Abbot of St. Anthony the Great Monastery, in the Eastern Desert

85) His Grace Isithoros (Isidore), Bishop & Abbot of the Most Holy Virgin Mary (aka Paromeos/The Romans) Monastery, in the Scetis Desert, Lower Egypt.

86) His Grace Kyrillos (Cyril), Bishop & Abbot of St. Minas the Wonder Worker Monastery, in the Mariut (Mariotis) Desert, Lower Egypt.

87) His Grace Mina, Bishop & Abbot of St. George the Victorious Prince and Great Martyr Monastery, in El Khatatba, Central Egypt.

88) His Grace Daniel, Bishop & Abbot of St. Paula the Hermit Monastery, in the Eastern Desert.

General Bishops & Administrators of the Bishoprics of the Throne:

89) His Grace Ruweis, General Bishop.

90) His Grace Moussa (Moses), General Bishop, Administrator for the Bishopric of Youth Affairs.

91) His Grace Dioscorus, General Bishop, Administrator of the Patriarchal Print Shop.

92) His Grace Botros (Peter), General Bishop.

93) His Grace Youannes (John), General Bishop, Patriarchal Secretary at the Patriarchal Residence in Cairo.

94) His Grace Armiah (Jeremiah), General Bishop, Patriarchal Secretary at the Patriarchal Residence in Cairo.

95) His Grace Apakir (Apa Cyrrhus), General Bishop.

96) His Grace Isaac, Chori-Episcopus.

Patriarchal Vicar for Alexandria:

97) The Very Reverend Hegumen Cheroubim the Pachomian, Grand Economos & Patriarchal Vicar in Alexandria.

Vacant Metropolitanate/Diocese/Abbey

98) His Eminence (Vacant), Metropolitan of the Holy Metropolitanate of Girga (Thinis).

99) His Grace (Vacant), Bishop of the Holy Diocese of Shebin El Quanater, Toukh & El Khanka.

100) His Grace (Vacant), Bishop & Abbot of St. George the Victorious Prince and Great Martyr Monastery, in El Rozaiquat, Central Egypt.

101) His Grace (Vacant), Bishop & Abbot of St. Anthony the Great Monastery, Barstow, California, U.S.A.

[edit] Prominent Copts

Image:Amman Coptic Church.jpg
A Coptic Orthodox Church in Amman, Jordan
  • Some Native Coptic Saints
  • Clergymen
  • 20th-century prominent Copts

[edit] See also

[edit] References

<references />

[edit] External links

[edit] Bibliography

frp:Égllése copta ortodoxe ca:Cristianisme copte de:Koptische Kirche es:Iglesia ortodoxa copta fr:Église copte orthodoxe ko:콥트 교회 hr:Koptska Crkva it:Chiesa Copta he:נצרות קופטית lb:Koptesch Kierch nl:Koptisch-Orthodoxe Kerk ja:コプト正教会 no:Koptisk kristendom pt:Igreja Ortodoxa Copta ru:Коптская православная церковь sr:Коптска црква sv:Koptisk-ortodoxa kyrkan zh:科普特教派

Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria

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