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About selecting the 118th Pope

Sabry Fawzy Gawhara | 26 April 2012

 Now, as the official mourning on the departure of Pope Shenouda III is coming to an end, and because we need to maintain the church, especially in the current storming circumstances in Egypt, steps are being taken to select the 118th Pope of Alexandria. Apparently, proposals and suggestions are everywhere making a lot of chaos. It is well known that we, the Egyptians, prove great failure when we attempt to work together in order to achieve an important goals, because each of us believes that God has given him the greatest mind ever that never make mistakes, and that every different opinion is not only bad, but also a stupid and corrupted one full of betrayal and bad intentions. It’s even worse when it’s related to personal disagreements between two intellectuals.

In fact, we have never learnt the rules, benefits and advantages of team working since our childhood. Democracy is similar to any other skill that needs to be learnt and practiced but unfortunately we’ve never learnt or practiced it in our homes or communities. It’s also disappointing to see the Coptic diaspora failing to help their persecuted fellows in Egypt as they were also born and raised in Egypt. Whenever they try to do something useful, their efforts are scattered in all directions leading us to another shameful failure.
Our fellows in Egypt have the same attribute. For instance, during the days of paying the last respect for Pope Shenouda showed a lot of shameful chaos. People’s sorrows for losing their compassionate father are unquestionable, but think about what happened when the Pope of Rome has departed. Many people were walking in silence and respect before the body; so, everyone had a chance: strong and weak, men and women.
If we said the reason behind such mess is their sadness and shock to lose their father, and accept such behavior as a reaction, yet we are making a bigger mistake. It’s more than feelings, it’s like a chronic disease or something wrong with our Egyptian genes and of course it’s more found in the Copts!
Such behavior is a serious problem if it’s repeated during selecting the next Pope who will be responsible with his people for maintaining the true faith of the Church and maintaining the Coptic church itself in Egypt. We should avoid such mess, and everything should be well planned and organized fast, efficient and honestly. We should always think about what is good for our church.
We must comply with the rules of choosing the pope with no exceptions for anyone. Let’s learn from the mistakes of the presidential elections and avoid repeating them. We must not allow any agency or group to make their man (or favorite doll) reach the majestic office of the Pope. 
There are people who seek this position regardless of their spirituality, mental ability and their ability to tolerate such responsibility. Such men are lacking the due spirituality that people sake in their Pope. They aren’t modest or supported by the Holy Spirit. Such men are willing to break their oath in order to keep his chair, look at Hosni Mubarak who wasted his own nation to keep his chair!
Frankly, I want to say that many people are not suitable for any public office and especially the Pope office. Some of them have relationships with corrupted policemen. There is no doubt that the State Intelligence is fully aware of those, and this makes of them the best choice for the state as they can easily compel them to blind obedience no matter what happens to the Copts or even Egypt. 
Church’s traditions have the Holy Synod responsible for this job as it’s a very serious mission. It was said that there is no divisions or parties within the Holy Synod which I hope to be true. I hope also that it chooses the best candidates without favoritism, and they would be chosen according to their spirituality, good deeds and the pure Orthodox doctrine.
The Holy Synod should exclude everyone who seeks this position. I think the state will try to support one of those who seek the position which should be taken as a sign that such man is corrupted and should be removed immediately from the list of candidates. We know that the state currently doesn’t care much for the good of the church or the Copts. Let’s pray that the Holy Spirit will guide them in this serious responsibility.
I hope also that cheap propaganda for the candidates won’t be allowed as well as deciding carefully who is going to vote in the elections.
Finally, no doubt that there are adjustments that should be done to the regulations of electing the Pope as time has changed and we should think about what is best for the church according the bible and the traditions. 
 
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