Copts close nominations for new pope

Nominations for the new pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church closed on Saturday. The pope will succeed Pope Shenouda III, who died in March.

The registration committee of the Millet Council — the 24-member secular body in charge of the church’s administrative affairs — is scheduled to meet Tuesday to make a list of applicants who submitted their papers.

The Millet Council will review the list in its meeting on 30 May.

State-run Al-Ahram newspaper reported that 20 candidates are running for the position. Half of them are priests and the other half are monks.

Seven candidates will be chosen to stand in the elections. The new pope's name will be randomly drawn from the names of the three candidates with the highest number of votes.

The election will take place by mid-August, and the chosen candidate will be the 118th pope.

The prominent Coptic figures nominated for the position include Bishop Bishoy, secretary of the Millet Council; Bishop Youanis, who served as secretary for Pope Shenouda; Bishop Roufael of Cairo’s downtown churches; Bishop Macarius of Minya; Bishop Kyrillos, priest of Milan in Italy; Bishop Difnotious of Samallout; and Bishop Boutros, another of Shenouda’s secretaries.

Bishop Pachomius, the acting patriarch, and Bishop Moussa, priest of the youth, said they will not run for the post.

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