The committee managing the papal election closed nominations Saturday afternoon and will announce the final list of nominees in a Holy Synod meeting Wednesday.
The Holy Synod will meet with the papal election committee Tuesday.
Secretary of the Holy Synod and papal election committee member Edward Ghaleb said that during the week the committee received nomination papers of 18 candidates.
He told Al-Masry Al-Youm that all 18 will be subject to the nomination requirements.
He also said that soon candidates will be allowed to waive their candidacy for another candidate soon.
According to a presidential decree in 1957, 5-7 candidates can compete for the post. Electorates, made up of senior clergymen and notable members of the Coptic community, will vote to choose only three candidates. The three finalists' names will be put in a draw and a blindfolded child will choose the name of the next pope.
Coptic Pope Shenouda III, the patriarch of most of Egypt's estimated 12 million Christians, died in March.
His successor will play a central role in forging the church's position in the country after the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak last year. He may also will find himself in a difficult position dealing with the next president, who might be the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsy.