Tagged with Pope Shenouda

Pope Tawadros’ Weekly Sermon, in English

Pope Tawadros’ Weekly Sermon, in English

Pope Shenouda III of the Coptic Orthodox Church was known as the ‘teacher of generations.’ I had the privilege of attending the beloved 87-year-old deliver one of his Wednesday weekly sermons back in 2010. Five years later, in post-revolutionary Egypt, I watched his successor Pope Tawadros continue the tradition. He preached on Esther, and for … Continue reading

The Pope, in Maadi

The Pope, in Maadi

Friends in Philadelphia will soon have the privilege of a papal visit. But will Pope Francis preach in your particular church? His equal in the faith visited us in Maadi. A Catholic might not consider it so. A Protestant might insist we are all equal. But for Orthodox Christians, Pope Tawadros is patriarch of one … Continue reading

The Pope, Preaching Esther

The Pope, Preaching Esther

Five-and-a-half years ago, I had the opportunity to hear Pope Shenouda preach. The now-deceased 87-year-old had presided over the Coptic Orthodox Church for 39 years, along the way establishing a new tradition of holding a weekly meeting with the people every Wednesday. Last week in my first visit since, I witnessed his successor Pope Tawadros … Continue reading

Where Tolerance is at Home

Where Tolerance is at Home

A scant eighty feet from St. Mina Coptic Orthodox Church in Port Said, two small bombs exploded last month. Despite the second detonation being delayed until after a crowd had gathered and police were summoned, no one was killed. Even so, it is one more mark of an insurgency aiming to destabilize Egypt. ‘It is … Continue reading

Misrepresenting the Coptic Church and Politics

Misrepresenting the Coptic Church and Politics

The debate is valid: What is the proper role of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the nation’s politics? It is also an unavoidable debate. Once Pope Tawadros appeared with the Grand Sheikh of al-Azhar to back the popularly-backed military overthrow of President Morsi, he reasserted the church into the political scene. The decision of the … Continue reading

Bishop Thomas: Almost a Jonah

Bishop Thomas: Almost a Jonah

In typical Coptic Orthodox clerical fashion with his flowing black gown and long white beard, you would never know Bishop Thomas was almost a Jonah. The Jonah of old is characterized for his rebellion against God. He was commanded to preach to the people of Nineveh, went instead on a boat to Tarshish in the … Continue reading

The Shrine to Pope Shenouda

Yesterday, in a third attempt, I was able to see the final resting place of Pope Shenouda. All efforts were arranged by my friend Rashad, who I met through studies at a Coptic Orthodox theological institute, and who regularly organizes group trips to the various monasteries of Egypt. One such ordinary trip was to the … Continue reading

Egyptian Wisdom and Easter Hope

In Egypt, Easter is celebrated today according to the Orthodox calendar. It is a rather strange holiday as it sets off a bit of schizophrenia in the country. Unlike Christmas, which is a national holiday, Easter is a regular day. Except it isn’t. Christians are allowed the day off, and many Muslims take it also. … Continue reading

Reflecting on the Papal Shrines

Five people were killed yesterday at St. Bishoy Monastery, crushed to death visiting the shrine of Pope Shenouda. I was nearly there, along with my three year old daughter. It was meant to be part two of my visits to the shrines of the most recent popes. The second leg was not planned with the … Continue reading

Selecting the Next Pope

Near thirty journalists gathered at the Cairo Foreign Press Association headquarters to gain insight on the process involved in selecting a successor to the recently deceased Pope Shenouda. Arab West Report presented its research on the subject, accepting also further inquiries. The March 27 meeting was opened by FPA board member Sayid Ghuriyat, and presided … Continue reading

A Salafi Speaks in Church on Shenouda

The evening was supposed to be about Fatima Naout and Pope Shenouda. It turned out to be so much more. That it included Fatima Naout is semi-exceptional in itself. St. Mark’s  Coptic Orthodox Church in Maadi invited her to be the keynote presenter for a memorial service for Pope Shenouda. Naout is a Muslim. Yet … Continue reading

Christianity Today on Pope Shenouda

Just a short post today to direct to the article I contributed to Christianity Today on why the death of Pope Shenouda is also mourned by Egypt’s Protestants. If you click on the link above today you will see it highlighted as the lead story. Afterwards, please click here for the permanent link. I hope … Continue reading

A Few Thoughts and Links on Pope Shenouda

Living here in Egypt as a writer, I have long worried over the looming death of Pope Shenouda, head of the Coptic Orthodox Church. Speaking only personally, it seemed a daunting task to try and summarize his life, as long, influential, and controversial it has been. This mostly has to do with my preference for … Continue reading

Church, State, and Revolution in Egypt

Many Christians in America are keen on emphasizing that the ‘separation of church and state’ is found nowhere in the constitution. Rather, they state, it was from the personal letters of Thomas Jefferson – his guiding opinion, of course, but never adopted in America’s founding documents. This is true. The constitution guarantees freedom of religion … Continue reading

A Christian Face to the Protests

Sunday, February 6 witnessed a peculiar exhibition amidst the drama unfolding in Tahrir Square. Christian Egyptians publically conducted a prayer service, honoring their fallen co-demonstrators who have died in the effort to topple the Mubarak government. Calling them ‘martyrs’, as is common Egyptian custom to designate all who perish in a cause or as a … Continue reading