VATICAN CITY, APRIL 3, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Retired Bishop Antonios Naguib of Minya of the Copts was elected new patriarch of Alexandria of the Catholic Copts.
The new patriarch is replacing Cardinal Stephanos II Ghattas, 86, who had presented his resignation to Benedict XVI, the Vatican press office announced today.
The new patriarch, 71, was elected by the Synod of Bishops of the Catholic Coptic Church, meeting in St. Joseph's Convent of the Egyptian Sisters of the Sacred Heart in Cairo on March 20, as established by the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches.
The Pope has given assent to the election.
Egypt's Catholic Copts number about 250,000, a small minority in a country of 74 million inhabitants, 94% of whom are Muslims and most of the rest Orthodox Copts.
The Coptic Church (known as Orthodox) remained apart from Rome following the Council of Chalcedon [which we looked at here on 3/21/06] in 451. It is led today by Pope Shenouda III.
n 1741, a Coptic bishop in Jerusalem converted to Catholicism and was named by Pope Benedict XIV apostolic vicar of the small Coptic community. In 1895, Pope Leo XIII re-established the Catholic-Coptic Patriarchate.
The Coptic Church was founded by the martyr Mark between A.D. 40 and 60 in Alexandria.
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
Zenit.org has more on the election of the Coptic patriarch.