Bishop Paula, the bishop of Tanta and spokesperson of the committee overseeing the papal election, said Thursday the Church had not invited President Mohamed Morsy to attend the altar lottery that will chose the next Coptic pope. He said that Morsy has been invited to the ordainment ceremony on 18 November.
During the altar lottery scheduled for Sunday, the names of the three final candidates will be written on slips of paper and presented to a blindfolded young Coptic boy, who will pick one name out of a glass receptacle.
Paula told Al-Masry Al-Youm that acting Pope Pachomius will choose 12 boys between 5 and 8 years old. The deadline for Coptic families who want to nominate their children will be 12 pm on Friday, Paula added.
"The acting pope will be solely responsible for the selection of the child, and the names of candidates will be clearly written on the papers before the cameras, and will be placed in a transparent glass vase, sealed with red wax. The vase will be put on the altar during mass prayer," Paula said.
Following the prayer the vase will be taken off the altar and one of the 12 boys will be blindfolded to choose a paper that bears the name of the new pope.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm