New Coptic Catholic leader receives Pope's approval
By Estefania Aguirre

.- Pope Benedict XVI approved Bishop Ibrahim Isaac Sidrak as the new Patriarch of Alexandria of the Copts in Egypt, granting him "ecclesiastical communion.''

The former Bishop of Minya was elected during a Synod of Bishops of the Coptic Catholic Church in Cairo, which lasted from Jan. 12 to16. As part of the election, his rank was raised to archbishop.

The 57-year-old will replace Cardinal Antonio Naguib, aged 77, who resigned on Jan. 18 after suffering from partial paralysis and undergoing brain surgery.

The Vatican hopes his appointment will see more collaboration with Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II, who began his patriarchal ministry in Egypt just two months ago.

And the Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land, including the heads of the Roman, Melkite, Maronite, Syrian, Armenian and Chaldean Rites, all offered a formal welcome to the new leader.

"The international press has called you a 'young patriarch,'" they said in a letter dated Jan. 18.

"We are sure that with this 'youth' you will be a point of reference within the Council of Oriental Catholic Patriarchs and the Ecumenical Council of the Churches and for the Church of Egypt," they added.

Archbishop Sidrak was born in Assiut, Egypt, and studied philosophy and theology at a Coptic seminary in Cairo.

He was ordained a priest on Feb. 7, 1980 and incarnated in the Eparchy of Assiut.

He served two years in the Church Michael the Archangel in Cairo before moving to Rome where he received a doctorate in theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University.

Archbishop Sidrak returned to Egypt where he taught theology at his seminary, the Patriarchal Seminary of Maadi.

He was elected Bishop of Minya in 2002 after working as rector of the seminary and as secretary general for the Coptic Catholic Church's office for catechetical teaching.

The Egyptian is the second bishop of Minya – an area south of Cairo holding one-fifth of the country's estimated 200,000 Copts – to be elected patriarch.

His ministry as bishop was marked by his efforts to help farmers and people in need, regardless of their faith, through increased social and charitable activities in the villages of the diocese.

The Coptic Catholic Church was established in 1824 and there are five parishes in the United States and in Canada.

Egypt now has two heads of Churches – Archbishop Sidra and the Coptic Orthodox leader Pope Tawadros II.

Over 10 percent of Egyptians are Copts, which makes them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East.

The Orthodox and Coptic leaders will surely be discussing the saftey of Egyptian Christians, which became a topic of concern after President Mohammed Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood Party and radical Salafis took up power in the country.

Christians also fear that the recently approved constitution will fail to protect them.

Tags: Eastern Catholics, Church in Middle East

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

3D Church mapping
3D Church mapping
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family

Liturgical Calendar

July 30, 2014

Wednesday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:44-46


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Jer 15: 10, 16-21
Gospel:: Mt 13: 44-46

Saint of the Day

St. Peter Chrysologus »


Homily of the Day

Mt 13:44-46


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: