Copts prepare to replace Pope Shenouda III

Bishop Morcos, the church leader of Shubra al-Kheima district and head of the registration committee for the papal election, said that 700 Copts are enrolled to vote on a replacemet for Pope Shenouda III, who died in March.

The selection process could take months and involve up to 1,500 people. Under the bylaws issued in 1957, the pope is elected by Coptic bishops, politicians, notable citizens and newspaper owners and editors.

Once the vote is completed, a blindfolded child will choose a name from a hat containing the names of the three candidates with the highest number of votes. Candidates must be at least 40 years old and have spent at least 15 years in monastic life.

He pointed out that the committee would continue receiving voter applications until the end of May, including from Coptic expatriates.

Morcos said the voters must fill out registration papers and provide a copy of their IDs, as well as the signature of the bishop they are affiliated with.

As for the ministers, journalists and MPs, they must receive the signature of the acting pope and submit a certificate from a Coptic Orthodox priest that they have made confession, Morcos added.

The Holy Synod discussed in its meeting Wednesday giving the Eritrean Church the right to vote in the papal elections and formed a committee including Bishop Bishoy, Bishop Antonios, Georgette Qelliny, and chancellor Monsef Suleiman to decide on the issue.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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