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2 new Coptic dioceses in the US, 1 in Europe, & other Coptic ordinations Nov 11

minasoliman

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According to Coptic news media, Watani, HH Pope Tawadros will ordain the following:

+Abouna Seraphim al-Souriani (who was one of the five candidates for the papacy) as bishop of the new diocese of Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana
+Bishop Karas (presently general bishop in NJ) as bishop of the new diocese of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware
+2 monks from St. Shenoute's Monastery in Milan to be general bishops in Europe, one in the new "mid-Europe" diocese and one for Milan and Italy
+Bishop Angaelos, general bishop of London, will be ordained diocesan bishop of London
+Bishop Mark, general bishop of Paris, will be ordained diocesan bishop of Paris and Northern France
+Abouna Pigol of Al-Muhurraq Monastery will be bishop abbott of the same monastery

...

As a side note, being someone from NJ, this means that the Archdiocese of North America situated in NJ will be replaced with someone else since Bishop Karas is leaving.  The general rumorville is that Bishop Angelos of Northern Shubra will be that general bishop for North America in NJ.
 

RaphaCam

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Glory to God!

minasoliman said:
As a side note, being someone from NJ, this means that the Archdiocese of North America situated in NJ will be replaced with someone else since Bishop Karas is leaving.  The general rumorville is that Bishop Angelos of Northern Shubra will be that general bishop for North America in NJ.
I thought you guys never moved bishops.
 

RaphaCam

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BTW, is there any difference between a general bishop and a diocesan one beside the formality of a diocese? Is this splitting present in other Orthodox churches? It seems to be a completely different thing from a titular bishop, but maybe it's related to the idea of a vicar bishop?
 

minasoliman

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RaphaCam said:
BTW, is there any difference between a general bishop and a diocesan one beside the formality of a diocese? Is this splitting present in other Orthodox churches? It seems to be a completely different thing from a titular bishop, but maybe it's related to the idea of a vicar bishop?
So a general Bishop is one ordained for no particular diocese, and is under the leadership of a Pope or Metropolitan.  Only general bishops can be “moved”.  The Coptic Church has no titular bishops, but general bishops can be comparable to titular ones by function.
 

peterfarrington

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It should be noted, just as a matter of fact, that the General Bishop is a recent innovation, and hopefully we will return to a more traditional ecclesiology where a bishop is indeed the father of actual communities of Orthodox Christians in an Ignatian sense.
 

Dominika

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Glory be to God!
What is the rite for changing a general bishop to a diocesan one? Is it only an enthroment, or something more?
 

minasoliman

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Dominika said:
Glory be to God!
What is the rite for changing a general bishop to a diocesan one? Is it only an enthroment, or something more?
So from what I have seen, a general bishop will go through a full prayer rite any monk priest would, with full assignment of his diocese.  So this will be the second time a general bishop will go through the bishop rites with the addition of his diocesan assignment.
 

peterfarrington

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If he is assigned a Diocese then he should be a Bishop, but I know that some/many General Bishops are assigned to a service and not a geographical area.

I hope that HH will continue to make General Bishops into Diocesan Bishops and not create more. Whatever the perceived problem, they are not the answer.
 

minasoliman

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Given that the Pope himself was a general bishop and has expressed his desire to ordain more general bishops for various services, I remain pessimistic of the hope that we will limit general bishops.

So, I don't know.  Seeing that the Coptic Church is the only Church that takes these laws seriously, the loophole of a "general bishop" created by Pope St. Kyrillos and Pope Shenouda is going to be very difficult to remove.  It might be necessary that we need to choose our battles for other issues that could be more vexing at the moment.
 

AntoniousNikolas

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minasoliman said:
It might be necessary that we need to choose our battles for other issues that could be more vexing at the moment.
In that vein, let us pray that whatever bishop is assigned to take care of the unincorporated territory is both strong of character and a conservative, for it is exclusively in this largely unregulated area - inclusive of the GTA, NJ, DC, VA, etc, - that CCM has become prevalent, in some parishes even in the Liturgy.  Areas with enthroned bishops are free of this plague.
 

minasoliman

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+1

Just an update, here is an actual list provided by Fr. Abraham Azmy, US media representative of official Coptic Synodal statements:

November 11-12, 2017, in the Monastery of St. Bishoy, Wadi El-natroun, according to Coptic Orthodox Holy Synod Secretariat

Enthronement of:
1- HG Bishop Angealos (General Bishop of Stevenage), as Bishop of London, UK
2- HG Bishop Karas (General Bishop in Archdiocese of NA), as Bishop of Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and West Virginia, USA
3- HG Bishop Mark, as Bishop of Paris and North France

Ordination of:
1- Hegumen Fr. Pigoul El-muharraqi, as Bishop and Abbot of St. Mary’s Monastery (El-muharraq)
2- Hegumen Fr. Antonio Avva Shenouti, as Bishop of Milan, Italy
3- Hegumen Fr. Seraphim El-soriany, as Bishop of Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana, USA
4- Hegumen Fr. Jeovonni Avva Shenouti, as Bishop of Hungary and its affiliated regions of Romania, the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Poland (Central Europe)

It seems to me all will be diocesan bishops in this official statement.  No indication anyone will be general bishops.
 

minasoliman

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minasoliman said:
RaphaCam said:
BTW, is there any difference between a general bishop and a diocesan one beside the formality of a diocese? Is this splitting present in other Orthodox churches? It seems to be a completely different thing from a titular bishop, but maybe it's related to the idea of a vicar bishop?
So a general Bishop is one ordained for no particular diocese, and is under the leadership of a Pope or Metropolitan.  Only general bishops can be “moved”.  The Coptic Church has no titular bishops, but general bishops can be comparable to titular ones by function.
For accuracy's sake, titular sees of the Coptic Church are also given to those who already are diocesan bishops.  It's not given to general bishops.  For example, Metropolitan Bakhomious of Damanhor and Beheira is also the titular bishop of all of Pentapolis.  No general bishop in the Coptic Church has titular sees, unlike other churches that do engage in the practice of ordaining titular bishops.  But the function is practically the same, whether its auxiliary to a metropolitan or patriarch or for a particular service of the Church in a wider context, for example ecumenical affairs.
 

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minasoliman said:
Dominika said:
Glory be to God!
What is the rite for changing a general bishop to a diocesan one? Is it only an enthroment, or something more?
So from what I have seen, a general bishop will go through a full prayer rite any monk priest would, with full assignment of his diocese.  So this will be the second time a general bishop will go through the bishop rites with the addition of his diocesan assignment.
Correction Mina. There is an enthronement rite that has been modified for the general bishop. It is quite long (actually should take more than a week) and it mostly in Greek. We borrowed a lot of text from the Byzantine Church on this one. Because of the length of the rite, only one section is done (the procession and one of the gospels. Then the diocesean assignment letter is signed (which is in the enthronement rite). Then there is a liturgy the next day.
 

minasoliman

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+1

Thanks for the correction  :)
 

peterfarrington

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It doesn't seem a good development to make General Bishops with diocesan responsibilities, and the idea that there should be an engagement period with a diocese as a General bishop before being made a Diocesan seems very harmful to our ecclesiology.
 

minasoliman

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It seems that way.  Minnesota did not make the cut  :p
 

AntoniousNikolas

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Father Peter said:
I am glad that soon all of the churches in the UK will be under a Diocesan Bishop, as our ecclesiology demands.
I pray that will eventually be the case in the USA and Canada as well.  Here, the unincorporated territories provide cover for heterodoxy and heteropraxis to fester.
 

minasoliman

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The Vespers of the Ordination has just been posted on YouTube:
https://youtu.be/aGzkxBGm-5c

 

Dominika

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minasoliman said:
The Vespers of the Ordination has just been posted on YouTube:
https://youtu.be/aGzkxBGm-5c
After one hour: bishop Giovanni of Eastern Europe, including Bolanda, that's Poland ;)

Edit: that's funny that in the case of this service the word "zaffe" (زفة) is used, the same as for the entrance of the bride and the groom on the wedding in the Middle Eastern tradtion ;)
 

minasoliman

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Oh yes, in both cases, zaffe=procession.
 

minasoliman

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minasoliman said:
The Vespers of the Ordination has just been posted on YouTube:
https://youtu.be/aGzkxBGm-5c
And here’s the full liturgy of the ordination of the monks who became bishops, (rather than the general bishops):
https://youtu.be/3kkRjCqzttw

Going by a previous question, I was curious and watched some older videos.  What is striking in this video is that there are only four men, whereas vespers had seven men.  The explanation is that the general bishops do not receive laying of hands since they were already bishops, and already received laying of hands when they were ordained as general bishops in the past.  They just receive some sort of promotional prayers in vespers to be diocesan bishops and that’s it for them.  But for those who were not bishops, the liturgical prayers over them become necessary to complete the ordination that began in vespers.  So there you go.  That’s the difference.

An example of laying on of hands to ordain a diocesan bishop and two general bishops (one of which is prayed over in English because he is the first American born and raised Coptic bishop around the 30th minute):

https://youtu.be/bTZPGJhHky8

And just for fun, in the spirit of Isa’s map collecting, I colored a map for the Coptic dioceses in the United States:

https://ibb.co/jqw6dG
 

Dominika

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minasoliman said:
minasoliman said:
The Vespers of the Ordination has just been posted on YouTube:
https://youtu.be/aGzkxBGm-5c
And here’s the full liturgy of the ordination of the monks who became bishops, (rather than the general bishops):
https://youtu.be/3kkRjCqzttw

Going by a previous question, I was curious and watched some older videos.  What is striking in this video is that there are only four men, whereas vespers had seven men.  The explanation is that the general bishops do not receive laying of hands since they were already bishops, and already received laying of hands when they were ordained as general bishops in the past.  They just receive some sort of promotional prayers in vespers to be diocesan bishops and that’s it for them.  But for those who were not bishops, the liturgical prayers over them become necessary to complete the ordination that began in vespers.  So there you go.  That’s the difference.
Thank you for all these explanations. The Vesper part, very similar to the Coptic one (but always with only one candidate to bishopric) exists in the byzantine rite; in Church Slavonic it's called наречение во епископа (calling into bishopric). The actual difference is that it doesn't apply to vicar bishop changing the place or becoming the diocesan bishop (in such situation only enthronement takes place).

minasoliman said:
An example of laying on of hands to ordain a diocesan bishop and two general bishops (one of which is prayed over in English because he is the first American born and raised Coptic bishop around the 30th minute):

https://youtu.be/bTZPGJhHky8
Amazing! In some way that's joyous as I think that such bishop will understand better his flock, but on the other hand it's sad - massive leaving of Copts their native land, Egypt, over so long time, that the situation is so mature, that there was a candidate being born and raised in another country to become bishop of his native Church.
 

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Dominika said:
minasoliman said:
minasoliman said:
The Vespers of the Ordination has just been posted on YouTube:
https://youtu.be/aGzkxBGm-5c
And here’s the full liturgy of the ordination of the monks who became bishops, (rather than the general bishops):
https://youtu.be/3kkRjCqzttw

Going by a previous question, I was curious and watched some older videos.  What is striking in this video is that there are only four men, whereas vespers had seven men.  The explanation is that the general bishops do not receive laying of hands since they were already bishops, and already received laying of hands when they were ordained as general bishops in the past.  They just receive some sort of promotional prayers in vespers to be diocesan bishops and that’s it for them.  But for those who were not bishops, the liturgical prayers over them become necessary to complete the ordination that began in vespers.  So there you go.  That’s the difference.
Thank you for all these explanations. The Vesper part, very similar to the Coptic one (but always with only one candidate to bishopric) exists in the byzantine rite; in Church Slavonic it's called наречение во епископа (calling into bishopric). The actual difference is that it doesn't apply to vicar bishop changing the place or becoming the diocesan bishop (in such situation only enthronement takes place).

minasoliman said:
An example of laying on of hands to ordain a diocesan bishop and two general bishops (one of which is prayed over in English because he is the first American born and raised Coptic bishop around the 30th minute):

https://youtu.be/bTZPGJhHky8
Amazing! In some way that's joyous as I think that such bishop will understand better his flock, but on the other hand it's sad - massive leaving of Copts their native land, Egypt, over so long time, that the situation is so mature, that there was a candidate being born and raised in another country to become bishop of his native Church.
While of course I agree the situation in Egypt is tragic there is another potential positive. I would think when Bishops are born in the country they serve they not understand their flock better, but that understanding may help to bring more into the fold of Orthodoxy. .. Including those outside the traditional ethnic group. America needs Orthodoxy so I pray this will be true.
 

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I think it is very positive that we will have a bishop of a place in the UK, which seems to me to be saying - this is where we belong. And with the increasing numbers of priests and the first bishops, born in the West but committed to the spiritual Tradition of Alexandria, we are getting better placed to fulfill our mission to the world where God places us. The time will come, in an organic manner, when the majority of congregational members in the West will be Western or 2nd and 3rd generation born in the West.
 

minasoliman

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Congratulations for the UK Abouna!  You truly have someone who is Axios for the service.  May your mission and the mission of your fellow priests grow under the guidance of the now 3 bishops of the UK.
 

AntoniousNikolas

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Let's pray that the heretical Alpha Course of Nicky Gumbel will now fall by the wayside as it pertains to the education of Coptic Orthodox Christians in the UK.
 

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Antonious Nikolas said:
Father Peter said:
I am glad that soon all of the churches in the UK will be under a Diocesan Bishop, as our ecclesiology demands.
I pray that will eventually be the case in the USA and Canada as well.  Here, the unincorporated territories provide cover for heterodoxy and heteropraxis to fester.
Dear Antonious,

I hope you are doing well. I haven't heard from you for a while, your account blocks PMs, and so I wanted to touch base with you.

Right now we are having a big problem in the EO church with the Moscow vs. Constantinople split. It's very troubling and hurtful. I am not sure what to do about it. It has to do with US vs. Russia geopolitics.

I want you to know that I actually like you and don't hold things that were said against you, because I know that it's just theological-based polemics, and the EO-OO split isn't new. Who knows what will happen with this new inner EO schism.

Peace / Selam.
 

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If you're Coptic Orthodox.
 

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minasoliman said:
RaphaCam said:
BTW, is there any difference between a general bishop and a diocesan one beside the formality of a diocese? Is this splitting present in other Orthodox churches? It seems to be a completely different thing from a titular bishop, but maybe it's related to the idea of a vicar bishop?
So a general Bishop is one ordained for no particular diocese, and is under the leadership of a Pope or Metropolitan.  Only general bishops can be “moved”.  The Coptic Church has no titular bishops, but general bishops can be comparable to titular ones by function.
My guess is the ability to move them is the main reason the Coptic Church ordained so many,  but the problem seems to be in the extra diocesan areas the general bishops were paper tigers; parish priests seemed in some cases accountable only to the Pope who lacked the time to supervise them, and thus the attempted Protestant takeover of all of the extra-diocesan areas in the US, and also Mukkatam (wasn’t the see of Mukkatam vacant before the consecration of HG Abanoub?).
 
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