Coptic Christians all over the world are interested in the papal elections for the 118th pope of Alexandria. Many of them are sad for what they hear about conflicts between some papal candidates, which is totally inappropriate for such great spiritual responsibility in our great historical Orthodox Church. Unfortunately, as we hear about bishops who are fighting to reach that office, we feel both worry and sorry. We remember what Pope Kyrolous had said when he was chosen for the papacy, he said, I wanted to live and die alone, but let it be according to God's will.
The next Pope will face the most serious and difficult stage of Egypt in its modern history. Egypt is about to lose its balance and go back in history. Furthermore, Coptic Christians are currently suffering the most from forced displacement and threats. Hundreds of thousands of them are seeking a chance to immigrate.
Amid such turmoil, we hear many people saying that altar lot, which is randomly picking up one of three papers that bears the names of final three candidates for the papacy after praying a mass to determine who is the new pope, is capable of choosing the best person who fits this position as it will reveal God's will no matter what our choices were!
However, I have many questions and comments concerning that altar lot: First, knowing that God will sure to choose the new pope, we should keep ourselves holy and sanctified. But there is forgery concerning voters lists, as well as clashes and mutual accusations among the candidates, which doesn't show our trust or faith that God will intervene!
Second, knowing that god will choose, why should we do first? We should leave all 17 names on the altar that God may choose the best candidate.
Third, as we appreciate God that much, shouldn't we allow Him to choose before us, or at least we may put a white paper to give Him the chance to refuse our choices?
Many are the questions concerning the altar lot that make us think: Is it always God's will?
It may be too late to ask such question now, as we are having a collective fasting and prayers for the papal elections. I just want to warn the responsible committee against any pressures to make them avoid excluding any of the candidate, claiming they are trying to give God the chance to decide!
I warn against making God responsible for our mistakes. We can't make him responsible for our greed that never goes with such spiritual leadership.