The bishop in the Coptic Orthodox Church is the cornerstone of the hierarchy of the clerical pyramid, based on the fact that the real bishop of the church is Christ himself, according to the apostle Peter, For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. The apostle Paul describes himself and the rest of the disciples as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God
Coptic Church and Reforms
Article Of The Day
Wednesday ,11 September 2019
“Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.” St. Peter talked about the job of the bishop saying: The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away. The bishop here is a trusting agent of service for those who are to inherit salvation.
When we look at the clerical service pyramid in the Coptic church, we find on its summit the Pope, who is the bishop of Alexandria, and the universal church in the fourth century in the Council of Nicaea (325 AD) approved the leadership of the bishop of Alexandria to the church in Egypt and Libya.
At the base of the pyramid, we find the priests who serve the churches and elect one priest in each church to be their leader (Hegumin). We are in front of a tight administrative arrangement and the priesthood remains the same, with various responsibilities between bishops and priests, so it is not possible to speak of a priest without a parish.
What about the general bishop, who is assigned for general tasks without a parish within a geographical area? This pattern was created by His Holiness Pope Cyril VI, when he ordained a bishop for social services and a bishop for education in 1962, and chose them from the staff of his secretariat to help him, so as not to clash with the approval of the synod at the time. It was an evolving and successful experience that confirmed the Church to keep pace with the social developments and management sciences as well.
The matter extended to the administration of Pope Shenouda III, who ordained a youth bishop in 1980, which confirmed the success of the experiment. Pope Tawadros did the same by ordaining general bishops for the bishoprics and then move them or enthrone them in the diocese.
In the context of the revisions of the reformation, the general bishop experience needs to be re-examined for evaluation
The rank of bishop s assistant has disappeared, and the Heugmin rank became useless though he is the most experienced priest in the church that should be able to direct his colleagues.
The general bishop can be moved from his diocese for various reasons, not all of them are objective, because he helps bishop of the city without having a legal basis. The bishop may be jealous of the gerenal bishop for many reasons and simply ask him to leave. Therefore, the ranks of Bishops Assistant and Hegumin should be reconsidered.
In order to teach the bishops how to deal with the general community, parish, priests, administration, government agencies and society, the Monastic School opened by Pope Joannes in 1929 and closed in the 1960s, must be revived.