Israel bars 5 priests from travelling to Egypt for papal elections

Israeli occupation authorities prevented five Orthodox priests from the Diocese of Jerusalem from traveling to Cairo on Monday to participate in the first round of the Egyptian papal elections.

Church authorities said 12 members of the Jerusalem Diocese have the right to vote in the Egyptian election, but only seven of them were able to come to Cairo to cast their vote.

The five priests barred from travel asked their colleagues to vote for them by proxy, a practice that is allowed by the Egyptian Coptic Church, reported the Turkish news agency Anadolu.

Bishop Abraham, the Bishop of Jerusalem and the Near East, would attend the inauguration ceremony of the new pope scheduled to take place on 18 November, if Israeli occupation authorities would allow his passage to Cairo, sources said.

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