Cairo, Egypt, Aug 13, 2018 / 10:37 am
Egyptian police have arrested two men, one a monk and one a former monk, over the death last month of Bishop Epiphanius, the abbot of St. Macarius Monastery.
Bishop Epiphanius' body was found July 29, with injuries to his head and back that suggest that he had been hit by a sharp object. St. Macarius is a Coptic Orthodox monastery in Egypt's Beheira governorate, about 60 miles northwest of Cairo.
Isaiah al-Makary, whose name in the world is Wael Saad, was expelled from the monastery a few days after Bishop Epiphanius' death. He was charged with the bishop's murder Aug. 11.
The Egypt Independent reported that Saad confessed to the murder the following day, and said that another monk, Faltaous al-Makary (Raymond Rasmi Mansour) had assisted in the crime.
Faltaous, 33, was detained Aug. 13. He had attempted suicide the previous week and was being treated at a hospital in Cairo.
Saad was expelled from the monastery Aug. 5, for “inappropriate actions which violate monastic behavior and way of life,” the Egypt Independent reported. The Coptic Orthodox Church said that his dismissal had been decided on before the bishop's death.
After Saad's confession, his lawyer, Amir Nasif, withdrew and declined to defend the suspect.
Tawadros II, Coptic Orthodox Pope of Alexandria, announced Aug. 2 that Coptic Orthodox monasteries will stop accepting seminarians for one year, Egypt Today reported.