Alexandria, Egypt, Aug 20, 2018 / 13:48 pm
Last month's murder of Bishop Epiphanius, the abbot of St. Macarius Monastery in the Egyptian desert, has highlighted tension in the Coptic Orthodox Church over monasticism, ecumenism, and reform.
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.
Isaiah al-Makary, whose name in the world is Wael Saad, was charged with the bishop's murder Aug. 11, and confessed to the murder the following day. Saad said another monk, Faltaous al-Makary (Raymond Rasmi Mansour), assisted in the crime. Faltaous attempted suicide in recent weeks, and was being treated at a Cairo hospital.
Saad was expelled from the monastery Aug. 5, for "inappropriate actions which violate monastic behavior and way of life." The Coptic Orthodox Church said that his dismissal had been decided on before the bishop's death.