The Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church, led by H.H. Pope Tawadros II, was very active this week, beginning last Saturday. The first activity was the ordination of ten new bishops on Saturday and Sunday to meet the needs of dioceses whose thrones became empty after the departure of their bishops/metropolitans, and of other pastoral groups and monasteries, either in Egypt or abroad.
Then on Monday, the synodal committees’ meetings began and lasted for three days at the Papal Residence in Cairo, discussing agendas that were prepared by each committee’s head. These committees are: Pastoral Care & Service Committee, Family Committee, Public Relations Committee, Diocesan Affairs Committee, Rites Committee, Faith & Education Committee, Ecumenical Relations & Dialogue Committee, Media & Information Committee, Monasticism & Monasteries/Convents Affairs Committee, Immigration Lands Affairs Committee, Standing Committee, and the Secretariat Committee.
The concluding general meeting for the members of the Holy Synod took place today, Thursday, June 9, 2022, at the Logos Center of the Papal Residence in St. Bishoy Monastery – Wadi El-Natrun, Egypt, being led by His Holiness the Pope and the participation of 120 members of the total number of 137. His Holiness began the meeting with a word titled “Aspects of the Bishop’s Responsibility,” which His Holiness published its first part in the latest issue of the Kiraza Magazine.
The Synod affirmed several decisions and recommendations submitted by the synodal committees after presenting and discussing them in depth during the general meeting, which lasted four hours.
The highlight of the decisions approved by the Holy Synod:
Canonization (deceleration of sainthood) of:
a. Fr. Yostos El-Antony (a monk from the Monastery of St. Antony – Red Sea)
b. Hegumen Bishoy Kamel (Priest of St. George Church in Sporting – Alexandria)
Saints’ relics must not be shared without an official document authorized by the metropolitan or bishop when there is an official written request authorized by another metropolitan or a bishop.
Formation of the Ecclesiastical Education Council and the Coptic Theological Academy Council; names of individuals with PhD and Master degrees are to be submitted to the Synod’s secretariat
The highlight of the recommendations:
Encourage the youth and the people to take an interest in national activities to participate in the birth of the new republic (Egypt), and to support the government in its development efforts, especially presidential initiatives such as “A Decent Life” (Haya Karima)
Encourage churches to celebrate Father’s Day and recognize his role in the family. This celebration is on June 21 every year in Egypt
Unify celebration of the Coptic heritage in all Coptic Orthodox churches to be on the occasion of the Feast of the Holy Family’s Entry into Egypt under the name “Global Coptic Day” on June 1 of every year, in which the Coptic Church should be presented to the world especially by speaking about the Holy Family’s journey to Egypt, and by organizing educational competitions about the Coptic heritage
Declare “My Family is Holy” to be the general theme for the coming year (June 2022 to June 2023) for activities in the Coptic Church around the world
His Holiness also urged the members of the Holy Synod to give attention to helping poor and underprivileged families to face the current economic crisis that is devastating the world, and to encourage small businesses as an effective tool to confront this crisis.
His Holiness also mentioned the necessity of giving attention to protecting the environment and climate change by practical solutions
At the end of the meeting, the members of the Holy Synod approved a proposal to renew the term for the current General Secretariat of the Holy Synod for another three-year period.
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