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But As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord

"And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15

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Pope Tawadros II (Coptic: Ⲡⲁⲡⲁ Ⲁⲃⲃⲁ Ⲑⲉⲟ́ⲇⲱⲣⲟⲥ ⲡⲓⲙⲁϩ ⲃ̅ [Papa Abba Theódōrōs II]; Arabic: البابا تواضروس الثاني‎‎ [al-Bābā Tawāḍurūs al-ṯhānī, English: Pope Theodore II]) (born 4 November 1952; 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.

Early Life

Pope Tawadros II was born Waǧīh Ṣubḥī Bāqī Sulaymān (وجيه صبحى باقى سليمان) on 4 November 1952 (25 Paopi 1668) in the city of Mansoura in Egypt.  He studied at the University of Alexandria, where he received a degree in pharmacy in 1975.  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. He was ordained a priest in 1989 (1705-1706).

Bishop

On 15 June 1997 (8 Paoni 1713), he was consecrated as a general bishop by his predecessor as Pope, Shenouda III, with the Greek name of Theodoros, which translates to Tawadros in Coptic or Theodore in English. Arabic spelling: تاوضروس. He was assigned to serve in the Eparchy of Behira in the northwestern Delta.

Papal Selection

The papal selection process began several weeks before the 4 November/25 Paopi selection. About 2,400 clergymen and others shortlisted three candidates: Bishop Tawadros, former aide to Metropolitan Pachomios; Bishop Raphael; and Father Raphael Ava Mina, a monk in a monastery near Alexandria and disciple of 116th Pope Cyril VI.
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.
Bishop 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[9] 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".  Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi congratulated Tawadros and called for Egyptian "unity" and "brotherly love" between Copts and Muslims.[1] Bishop Raphael, who came first in the election stage of papal selection, was appointed general secretary of the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church.

Papacy

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.  He later supported the withdrawal of the Egyptian churches from Egypt’s Constituent Assembly despite efforts by the presidency to convince them to return.