Egypt: Murder in the Cathedral... Coptic Bishop Epiphanius martyred

  • strict warning: Only variables should be passed by reference in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/captcha/captcha.inc on line 61.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 1113.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_field::query() should be compatible with views_handler::query($group_by = false) in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_field.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of content_handler_field::element_type() should be compatible with views_handler_field::element_type($none_supported = false, $default_empty = false, $inline = false) in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/cck/includes/views/handlers/content_handler_field.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_sort::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_sort.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_sort::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_sort.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_sort::query() should be compatible with views_handler::query($group_by = false) in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_sort.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::query() should be compatible with views_handler::query($group_by = false) in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_query::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_query.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_style_default::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_style_default.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 1113.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 1113.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_field_user::init() should be compatible with views_handler_field::init(&$view, $options) in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/modules/user/views_handler_field_user.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Non-static method views_many_to_one_helper::option_definition() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_many_to_one.inc on line 23.
  • strict warning: Non-static method views_many_to_one_helper::option_definition() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_many_to_one.inc on line 23.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 1113.
  • strict warning: Only variables should be passed by reference in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/captcha/captcha.inc on line 61.
  • strict warning: Only variables should be passed by reference in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/captcha/captcha.inc on line 61.

Egypt: Murder in the Cathedral... Coptic Bishop Epiphanius martyred

By Gianni Valente/ lastampa.it

The Coptic Orthodox Church speaks of “uncertainties in the circumstances of death” of the abbot of St. Macarius, a disciple of Matta el Meskin, who was slaughtered on his way to the morning prayer office. A martyred death.

A man of prayer and communion Anba Epiphanius, Coptic Orthodox bishop and abbot of the monastery of St. Macarius the Great. He celebrated Christian martyrdom as an imitation of Christ and an experience of victory, a sign of a faith that never tires of asking the Holy Spirit for the gift of full communion “among us Christians”. He was slain in his monastery at dawn, on his way to the church to recite the morning prayers with the other monks. His death seems connoted by a martyrial trait. Even more so if the ones who killed him are not the jihadists or some thief from outside, but someone – an unsettling hypothesis, but not hitherto excluded – who participated in the ordinary life of his monastic community.

The Coptic Orthodox Church, through its spokesperson, talked about “uncertainties surrounding the circumstances of Anba Epiphanius death”. His body was found in a pool of blood, at dawn on Sunday, July 29, on the route that should have led him from his cell to the church, as usual in the morning. According to local media reports, the bishop was hit on the head with a heavy, pointed object. The judicial authorities do not rule out from the investigations the members of the monastic community, being questioned in search of clues that help identify the author and the motive for the murder. At the same time, the Coptic Orthodox Patriarch Tawadros II follows through some personal envoys the developments of the tragic event that happened in a monastic community which is very dear to him too. For many reasons.

In the recent history of Coptic Christianity, the monastery of St. Macarius the Great (Dayr Anba Maqar), in the Wadi Natrun region, has not been a place like the others. Since the late sixties of the last century, that monastery became the centre of irradiation of the spiritual work of Matta el-Meskin, one of brightest figures of the rebirth of Coptic monasticism in the second half of the twentieth century, along the line that perpetuates the tradition of the “Fathers of the Desert”. His relations with the hierarchy of the Coptic Church – and above all with Patriarch Shenuda III – were complicated and, at times, conflictual, right in the years when the resurrection of the monastic movement in Egypt was becoming a tool to rediscover the treasure of faith, guarded throughout the centuries of Muslim domination.

Since his arrival in Dayr Anba Maqar, Matta el-Meskin had been able to revive the monastery’s life by attracting numerous disciples. As the scholar Alberto Elli recalled in his speech at the Bose Community Conference dedicated to Matta el Meskin in May 2016, the monk “had begun to conduct his own ecumenical action unbound from that of Patriarch Shenuda III. For example, Matta el-Meskin had adopted a conciliatory attitude regarding the Filioque controversy”. As a consequence, Pope Shenuda had forbidden the sale of the works of Matta el-Meskin in the parish libraries.

Also Epifanio – like the current patriarch Tawadros II – had been influenced in his formation by the figure of Matta el Meskin. There is still evidence of the contrasts that opposed Matta el Meskin to Patriarch Shenuda in certain resistances raised by the spiritual teaching of Tawadros. Sixty-four years old, a native of Tanta, a graduate in medicine, Anba Epiphanius entered the monastery in 1984, and was ordained priest in 2002. The monks of the monastery elected him as their abbot in February 2013, when Tawadros II had taken office as patriarch for less than three months. Epifanio was asked by the new patriarch to continue the effort of bringing the monastery of St. Macarius back to its former glory.

Also his message at the Ecumenical Conference of Orthodox Spirituality on “Martyrdom and Communion” organized by the monastic community of Bose, in September 2017, offered a precious contribution to get rid of the falsifications and misunderstandings that were shrewdly spread, in an increasingly shameless manner, regarding the very nature and the incomparable dynamics of the Christian martyrdom: “Martyrdom in the Coptic Church – Anba Epiphanius recalled – is a living reality that has never been interrupted in the course of history. We thought that, with technological progress, the globalisation of modern means of communication, the struggle of peoples and nations for a better life and the spread of human rights, the phenomenon of martyrdom disappeared and was relegated to the past. Instead, our Church keeps on sacrificing every day new martyrs on the altar of heavenly love”.

Tue, 07/31/2018 - 13:37
Comment through the site Comment through facebook

Comments

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.