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Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria

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Pope Tawadros II
Pope of Alexandria & Patriarch of All Africa on the Holy Apostolic See of Saint Mark the Evangelist of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria
Pope Tawadros II
Native name
Tawadros II
Ⲡⲁⲡⲁ Ⲁⲃⲃⲁ Ⲑⲉⲟ́ⲇⲱⲣⲟⲥ ⲡⲓⲙⲁϩ ⲃ̅
البابا تواضروس الثانى
ChurchCoptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria
ArchdioceseAlexandria and all of Africa
Papacy began18 November 2012[1]
(9 Hathor 1729)
PredecessorShenouda III
Consecration15 June 1997[2]
(8 Paoni 1713)
by Shenouda III
Personal details
Wagih Subhi Baqi Sulayman
وجيه صبحى باقى سليمان

(1952-11-04) 4 November 1952 (age 71)[3]
DenominationCoptic Orthodox Christian
ResidenceCoptic Orthodox Patriarchal Residence[4]
Alma materUniversity of Alexandria

Pope Tawadros II or Theodore II (Coptic: Ⲡⲁⲡⲁ Ⲁⲃⲃⲁ Ⲑⲉⲟ́ⲇⲱⲣⲟⲥ ⲡⲓⲙⲁϩ ⲃ̅', romanized: Papa Abba Theódōros II ; Arabic: البابا تواضروس الثانى; born on 4 November 1952 [Coptic calendar: 25 Paopi 1668]) is the 118th and current pope of Alexandria and patriarch of the See of St. Mark, succeeding the late Pope Shenouda III as leader of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria. He took office on 18 November 2012 (9 Hathor 1729), two weeks after being selected.[5]

Early life[edit]

Tawadros II was born as Wagih Sobhi Baki Soliman[6] (Arabic: وجيه صبحى باقى سليمان [waˈɡiːh ˈsˤobħi ˈbæːʔi seleˈmæːn]) on 4 November 1952 (25 Paopi 1668) in the city of Mansoura, Kingdom of Egypt.[3] He studied at the University of Alexandria, where he received a degree in pharmacy in 1975.[7] After a few years of managing a state-owned pharmaceutical factory, he joined the Monastery of Saint Pishoy in Wadi Natrun to study theology for two years. In 1988, he was formally tonsured a monk by Pope Shenouda III and given the name “Theodore Anba-Bishoy."[8] He was ordained a priest in 1989 (1705–1706).[1]


On 15 June 1997 (8 Paoni 1713), he was consecrated as a general bishop by his predecessor pope Shenouda III, with the Arabized Greco-Coptic name Tawadros (Arabic: تواضروس; Coptic: Ⲑⲉⲟ́ⲇⲱⲣⲟⲥ, Coptic pronunciation: [tæˈ(w)odo(ː)ros]), the equivalent of Greek Theódōros (Θεόδωρος), Amharic: ታዋድሮስ, and English Theodore. He was assigned to serve in the Eparchy of Behira in the northwestern Delta as an auxiliary to Metropolitan Pachomius.[9][8]

Papal selection[edit]

The papal selection process began several weeks before the 18 November/9 Hathor selection. About 2,400 clergymen and others shortlisted three candidates: Bishop Tawadros, former aide to Metropolitan Pachomios; Bishop Raphael, General Bishop in Downtown Cairo; and Father Raphael Ava Mina, a monk in a monastery near Alexandria and disciple of the 116th pope, Cyril VI.[10]

The ceremony to choose the pope from the three consensus candidates was held at Cairo's St. Mark's Cathedral at about noon, with a marked police presence. Metropolitan Pachomios, locum tenens of the Church, put slips bearing the candidates' names in a sealed chalice which was set upon the altar, then led the Divine Liturgy. He told the congregation to "pray that God will choose the good shepherd", and a blindfolded boy took a slip—Tawadros—from the chalice.[5]

Metropolitan Pachomius formally announced that the sixty-year-old Bishop Tawadros was to be the 118th Pope, and would be Pope Tawadros II, after Pope Tawadros I (r. 730–742), who was consecrated 45th Coptic Patriarch and Pope[11] during Egypt's Umayyad Period (658–750). Tawadros II said, from the monastery at Wadi Natrun, "[We] will start by organising the house from within. It is a responsibility. Most important is ... that the church, as an institution, serves the community".[12] Bishop Raphael, who came first in the election stage of papal selection,[13] was appointed general secretary of the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church.[14]


Ordination history of
Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria
Priestly ordination
Episcopal consecration
Consecrated byPope Shenouda III of Alexandria
Date15 June 1997

Pope Tawadros II started his papacy amid multiple changes in Egypt, saying that the Orthodox Church is committed to keeping Article 2 of Egypt's draft constitution intact, as it was in the old constitution.[15]

On Palm Sunday in 2017, Pope Tawadros II celebrated the Divine Liturgy mass at the Cathedral of St. Mark in Alexandria just before the cathedral was bombed, killing at least 87 people and injuring at least 329. The pope escaped unharmed. ISIS took responsibility for the attack.[16]

Views and issues[edit]

Pope Tawadros II has stated that the 2011 Egyptian revolution was a turning point in the Coptic Church's relations with its youth. Amongst his first tasks is the issue of Egypt's changing political landscape, given the new constitution and more independent-minded congregants who seek their demands outside the church in dealing with the state.[1]

In a short televised speech in July 2013 (Paoni 1729), Pope Tawadros II supported the removal of Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi and institution of a transitional government dominated by the president of the Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt, Adly Mansour who acted as a temporary president at the time.[17]


On 8 May 2013 (30 Parmouti 1729), Pope Tawadros II met with Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic Church, in Vatican City. This was the first meeting of the two recently elected church leaders and only the second gathering of popes in Italy in 1,500 years. The last visit of a Coptic pope to the Vatican occurred on 10 May 1973 (2 Pashons 1689) when then-Pope Shenouda III met with then-Pope Paul VI where they signed an important Christological declaration with the ambition to initiate ecumenical dialogue between the two ancient churches.[18]

On 10 May (2 Pashons), Pope Tawadros II and Pope Francis held a shared prayer followed by a reception with the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and other dicasteries of the Roman Curia. Pope Tawadros II also visited the tombs of the Apostle Peter and the Apostle Paul.[19] Additionally, Pope Tawadros II visited Copts in Rome.[citation needed]

On 27 November 2015 (17 Hathor 1732), Pope Tawadros II made the first Coptic papal visit to Jerusalem since 1832 (1548–1549), especially controversial as Pope Shenouda III had boycotted Jerusalem for four decades over the Arab–Israeli conflict. The purpose of the visit was the funeral of Archbishop Anba Abraham,[20] rather than to formally end the boycott.[21]

On 4 September 2016 (29 Mesori 1732), Pope Tawadros II visited King Abdullah of Jordan at the Royal Palace in Amman, his first visit to Jordan, before attending the general assembly of the Middle East Council of Churches on 6–8 September (1–3 Pi Kogi Enavot). The pope also visited Mount Nebo and the baptism site of John the Baptist, and praised King Abdullah and Jordan for encouraging religious tolerance and protecting holy sites.[22]

In 2017, Pope Tawadros visited the United Kingdom and Ireland.[23]

In September 2017, Pope Tawadros II visited Sydney, Australia for the first time as Pope. On 10 September 2017 (8 Mesori 1733), Pope Tawadros II visited Melbourne to officially open Eporo Tower[24] in the diocese of Melbourne and Affiliated Regions.


On 21 February 2015 (Meshir 14, 1731), Pope Tawadros II announced that 20 Copts and one Ghanaian murdered by the Islamic State in Libya would be commemorated as martyr saints on the 8th of Meshir of the Coptic calendar (15 February of the Gregorian calendar). The commemoration falls on the feast day of the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple.[25]

Episcopal genealogy[edit]

Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria, ordained bishop on 15 June 1997 by:


  1. ^ a b c d "Egypt's Copts choose new pope for uncertain times". Times Union (Albany). 2 December 2012. Archived from the original on 19 August 2022. Retrieved 19 August 2022.
  2. ^ "His Holiness Pope Tawadros II". Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Los Angeles. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
  3. ^ a b c "L'évêque Tawadros, nouveau patriarche copte d'Egypte" (in French). Le Parisien. 4 November 2012. Retrieved 5 November 2012.
  4. ^ Link: http://www.copticpope.org Archived 9 March 2018 at the Wayback Machine. Although the site is mostly in Arabic, the Papal Residence is briefly mentioned in English at the bottom of the Home Page.
  5. ^ a b "Bishop Tawadros new pope of Egypt's Coptic Christians". BBC News. 4 November 2012. Retrieved 4 November 2012.
  6. ^ "Tawadros II | Biography, Alexandria, & Facts | Britannica". www.britannica.com. Retrieved 9 January 2023.
  7. ^ "Tawadros II: The 118th pope of the Coptic Church". Egypt Independent. 4 November 2012. Archived from the original on 6 November 2012. Retrieved 5 November 2012.
  8. ^ a b "Pope Tawadros II". Retrieved 20 December 2020.
  9. ^ "Pope Tawadros II". St-Takla.org. Retrieved 9 January 2023.
  10. ^ "The New Pope Will Be from These 3 Men". Egyptian Chronicles. 30 October 2012. Retrieved 14 March 2013.
  11. ^ "H.H. Pope Tawadros II is the 118th Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria". St Shenouda Monastery, Sydney, Australia. 5 November 2012. Retrieved 19 September 2016.
  12. ^ "His Holiness Pope Tawadros II". St John Coptic Orthodox Church. Retrieved 19 September 2016.
  13. ^ Casper, Jayson (2 November 2012). "Child's Ballot Will Determine November Election—Of Next Coptic Pope". Christianity Today. Retrieved 19 September 2016.
  14. ^ "الأنبا رافائيل أسقف عام لكنائس وسط القاهرة، مصر". St-Takla.org (in Arabic). Retrieved 19 September 2016. تم اختيار نيافته سكرتيرًا للمجمع المقدس عام 2012 م. وذلك في بداية حبرية قداسة البابا تواضروس الثاني. حيث سيستمر "سكرتير المجمع" لمدة ثلاثة سنوات، وبعدها يتم اختيار آخر.. وهكذا.. ولكن الأنبا بيشوي قضى في هذه الوظيفة من عام 1985 م. حتى اختيار أنبا رافائيل، وذلك لأن مثلث الرحمات قداسة البابا شنوده الثالث كان يريد نوعًا من الاستقرار في الكنيسة.. وكان الأنبا يوأنس في هذه المهمة قبل الأنبا بيشوي.
  15. ^ Khalil, Imad; Chmais, Yasser; Kassem, Hamdi (13 November 2012). "Coptic Pope Warns of Extremism In Egypt's Constituent Assembly". Al-Monitor. Translated by El-Khoury, Joelle. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  16. ^ Samaan, Magdy; Walsh, Declan (9 April 2017). "Egypt Declares State of Emergency, as Attacks Undercut Promise of Security". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 October 2017 – via www.nytimes.com.
  17. ^ "Pope Tawadros II Supports Revolution". www.ecumenicalnews.com. 6 July 2013. Retrieved 16 October 2014.
  18. ^ "Pope Francis and Pope Tawadros meet". Catholic Star Herald. 16 May 2013. Retrieved 19 September 2016.
  19. ^ El-Dabh, Basil (10 May 2013). "Pope Francis receives Pope Tawadros II". Daily News Egypt. Retrieved 19 September 2016.
  20. ^ Soffer, Ari (26 November 2015). "Egypt's Coptic Pope makes historic visit to Israel". Israel National News. Retrieved 11 December 2016.
  21. ^ "Jerusalem visit of Egypt's Coptic pope stirs divisions". Al Jazeera English. 28 November 2015. Retrieved 18 September 2016.
  22. ^ Gadallah, Nevine; Barsoum, Marina (7 September 2016). "Pope Tawadros to MECC: "Hand in hand with moderate Muslims"". Watani. Retrieved 18 September 2016.
  23. ^ "Coptic Christian Pope dedicates Drumcondra church". Irish Times. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  24. ^ "Introducing Eporo Tower – La Trobe Street Melbourne". Eporo Tower. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  25. ^ "Coptic Church Recognizes Martyrdom of 21 Coptic Christians". 21 February 2015. Retrieved 21 February 2015.
  26. ^ "البابا تواضروس الثاني - البطريرك رقم 118 | St-Takla.org". st-takla.org. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  27. ^ "البابا شنوده الثالث". st-takla.org. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  28. ^ "الأنبا أثناسيوس مطران بني سويف والبهنسا، مصر | St-Takla.org". st-takla.org. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  29. ^ "البابا كيرلس الخامس - البطريرك رقم 112 | St-Takla.org". st-takla.org. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  30. ^ "الأنبا إيساك أسقف البهنسا والفيوم والجيزة، مصر | St-Takla.org". st-takla.org. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  31. ^ "البابا بطرس السابع الجاولي - البطريرك رقم 109 | St-Takla.org". st-takla.org. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  32. ^ "البابا البابا مرقس الثامن - البطريرك رقم 108 | St-Takla.org". st-takla.org. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  33. ^ "الأنبا بطرس مطران جرجا وأخميم، سوهاج | رئيس دير السريان، وادي النطرون، مصر | St-Takla.org". st-takla.org. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  34. ^ "البابا مرقس السابع - البطريرك رقم 106 | St-Takla.org". st-takla.org. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  35. ^ "الأنبا أثناسيوس أسقف أورشليم | كرسي القيامة | St-Takla.org". st-takla.org. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  36. ^ "البابا بطرس السادس - البطريرك رقم 104 | St-Takla.org". st-takla.org. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  37. ^ "الأنبا خريستوذولوس مطران الحبشة (الأنبا سلامة) ورئيس دير السريان، وادي النطرون، مصر | St-Takla.org". st-takla.org. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  38. ^ "البابا متاؤس الرابع - البطريرك رقم 102 | St-Takla.org". st-takla.org. Retrieved 22 September 2020.

External links[edit]

Oriental Orthodox titles
Preceded by Coptic Pope