Church committee collects nominations for papal election

A Coptic Church committee began receiving nominations on Friday for the new pope. Since the death of Pope Shenouda III, Bishop Pachomius has been acting as the pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt.  

Millet Council Secretary Edward Ghalib said that the committee will accept nominations and recommendation from bishops and members of the Millet Council in accordance with 1957 bylaws that govern the selection of the pope.

The committee will examine the nominations to compose an initial list of nominees, which will include between  five to seven names of individuals who will run in the election, Ghalib said.

Ghalib added that endorsements for bishops abroad will be submitted by bishops currently present in Egypt.

The selection process could take months and involve up to 1,500 people.

Under the bylaws issued in 1957, the next pope shall be elected by bishops, former and current Coptic cabinet members and MPs, Coptic notables and Coptic newspaper owners and editors.

Once the vote is completed, a blindfolded child will choose a name from a hat containing the names of the three candidates with the highest number of votes.

Candidates must be at least 40 years old and have spent at least 15 years in monastic life.

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