A blindfolded boy will on Sunday select the new pope for millions of Coptic Christians in Egypt, becoming his mother’s pride and joy in the process.
Nearly 2,500 eligible voters made up of Coptic public officials, MPs, journalists and local councillors have already pre-selected three candidates to succeed pope Shenuda III, who died in March at the age of 88.
They are Bishop Rafael, 54, a medical doctor and current assistant bishop for central Cairo; Bishop Tawadros of the Nile Delta province of Beheira, 60; and Father Rafael Ava Mina, the oldest of the five original candidates at 70.
Their names will now be written on separate pieces of paper and placed in a box on the altar of St Mark’s Cathedral, for God to guide the boy’s hand towards the winner — in the beliefs of the Church and the faithful.
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