Our church is not based on absolute autocracy. People choose their priests, bishops and the Pope. They have the right to select while the Holy Synod has the right to appoint “Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business” (Acts 6:3). This is how the congregation has been selecting their leaders. People choose their Pope who they can trust. They should be pious and have certain level of knowledge of theology. They shouldn’t seek this position as they know its great requirements and responsibilities. After all, God who knows the heart of everyone will choose the best for his church and his people.
We should learn from history and avoid arguments and disputes that bring only pitfalls. We should respect the traditions and laws of the church. On top of all, we should pray to God to provide us the good shepherd.
Unfortunately, some people consider it a battle of electoral propaganda and advertising. While it is much greater matter. It is an extension of the Apostolic Fathers’ work. It is a hard work to find out the will of God to choose a person to be the head of church to guard the faith and save his children. Therefore, he must be: “blameless… temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence, not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil”. According to the laws of the council of Nicea, church shouldn’t hurry up when choosing the Pope.
Our faith makes us avoid distraction and oppression as long as we only seek safety of the Church. I dream of a person who is recommended for his spirituality and pity, not a person that nominates himself. I hope he will be carried by people to this position, not who seeks this position.
Then, we will enjoy peace from heaven. As God choose his servant whom he had chosen to help his tortured people. We may not have the chance to vote, but we can vote by praying with the angels, by fasting, and worshipping day and night. We will pray saying: “Thy Will be done in Your church”. Therefore, I call servants of the LORD to make an army of worshippers that Christ our God may send us a the good shepherd like St. Athanasius, St. Cyril, and Pope Shenouda III.
We are facing the highest interest of the church, which should be above all other interests. We trust that God, who sees into the heart, will send us the good shepherd according to his heart to shepherd and teach them. I pity him who will be the Pope in these days. A lot of temptations, crosses and pain are waiting for him. But the hand of God which will choose him will also carry and help him until he leaves this office.