Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States

Important Updates: 118th Papal Voting Process

October 13, 2012

COLLEYVILLE, TX. October 13, 2012 -- Updates on the 118th Papal voting process.

The Coptic Orthodox Holy Synod has approved the final list of qualified voters. It has been determined that 2411 voters will be eligible to take part in this historical event: the 118th Pope of the See of St. Mark.

The next phase of the voting process for the 118th Pope and Patriarch of the See of Alexandria will involve two steps:

1) Five Nominees
Thanks be to God, the first step of reducing the list of Coptic Patriarch nominees to 5 names has been completed. The names are listed below:

  • Fr. Bakhomios al Souriany
  • Bishop Tawadrous
  • Bishop Raphael
  • Fr. Raphael Ava Mina
  • Fr. Seraphim al Souriany

2) Election Day
The election date will be October 29, 2012. It will involve all voters within the following two categories:

  • Voters within Egypt
    All voters within Egypt will be voting in person on the Election Day of October 29, 2012.

  • Voters Outside Egypt
    According to the 1957 by-laws, voters outside of Egypt have two options for voting:
    1. Travel to Egypt and vote in person for voting on the Election Day of October 29, 2012.

    2. Go to your local Egyptian Embassy or Council to get a letter of power of attorney for the person who will be voting in Egypt instead of you. This person will take this letter and will vote in person instead of you.

    Process of the Ballot

    The ballot will contain the final list of the 5 nominees. The voter will vote by scratching out with a pen all names in which he/she does not vote for. There can only be a maximum of 3 unscratched names, otherwise the ballot will be rejected.

As we go through this historical event, the presence and guidance of our Lord is vital. Thus our beloved Coptic Orthodox Church will be solemnly praying and fasting 3 first degree fasts (similar to the Wednesday and Friday fasts).

  1. October 1-3, 2012: prior to studying the objections of the nominees; reducing the current list of nominees from seventeen to 5-7 names
  2. October 22-24, 2012: prior to the Election Day on October 29, 2012
  3. October 31-November 2, 2012: prior to the Altar Lot on November 4, 2012

"And they cast their lots, and the lot fell to Matthias. And he was numbered with the eleven apostles" (Acts 1:26).

We pray that our Lord Jesus Christ guide us through this process and help us to choose a good shepherd for His church according to His will.

"It is within the power of all, therefore, in every church, who may wish to see the truth, to contemplate clearly the tradition of the Apostles manifested throughout the whole world. And we are in a position to reckon up those who were by the apostle's instituted bishops in the churches, and the succession of these men to our own times...

For if the apostles had known of hidden mysteries...they would have delivered them...especially to those to whom they were also committing the churches themselves. For they were desirous that these men should be very perfect and blameless in all things, whom also they were leaving behind as their successors, delivering up their own place of government to these men
" (Irenaeus c.180).