Friday 9 November 2012

The challenges facing the next coptic Pope

O bispo Angaelos, do Reino Unido
Full transcript of interview with bishop Angaelos, of the Coptic Church in the UK, regarding the election of Pope Tawadros. News report here.

Transcrição integral da entrevista com o bispo Angaelos, da Igreja Copta no Reino Unido, sobre a eleição do Papa Tawadros. Notícia aqui.

What can you tell us about Amba Tawadros?
Amba Tawadros is somebody who is a very good monk and bishop, has been serving with the current interim Patriarch for over 20 years and is somebody who has hands-on experience with diocesan work and administrative work, but also has a very firm spiritual foundation to everything he does. He is fluent in English and is forward thinking and he will be able to present very much to the church if he is chosen”.

What will the main challenges for the next Pope be?
There will be three main challenges.

First is the current situation in Egypt, which has changed significantly in the past almost two years. Not only in terms of the political administration and regime, but also in terms of people’s mind-set and the way they deal with issues, the concept of democracy being people saying whatever they want to say, regardless of responsibility, outcome or accountability. It’s almost a complete breakdown in the fear barrier which has led to a relative anarchy in some cases. There are greater security risks and political risks because the situation is not yet stable regarding the current president or his administration or Government. Engagement will have to be on constantly changing ground, moving ground, because nobody knows where things are going at the moment.

The second challenge is that the church has spread so far. Being a church that started in Egypt and is predominantly in Egypt, but a church that now exists all over the world, and being able to deal with that diversity is a challenge that is not impossible, because it has been met so far, but it is a challenge that will continue to increase because of the way that both the situation in the Middle East and in the West are constantly evolving.

The third challenge is that he steps into the shoes of the late Pope Shenouda, who was not only an exemplary and charismatic figure, but who was also there in that place for forty years. So he is dealing with a charismatic figure with 40 years of experience behind him, and stepping into those shoes will also be quite a task.

Having said that, we believe that God’s choice will be there, the Holy Spirit will empower him, and that he will not be acting alone, but that he will be guided as God sees fit for him and his people.

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