Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Sunday 01 August |
Saint of the Day: St. Alphonsus Liguori
home iconNews
line break icon

Two monks detained in case of Coptic bishop’s murder in Egypt

Coptic Church France

JEFF PACHOUD / AFP

John Burger - published on 08/13/18 - updated on 08/13/18

One was under investigation for breaking rules of monasticism

Egyptian authorities have detained two monks as part of their investigation into the death of a Coptic Orthodox bishop.

Bishop Epiphanius, abbot of St. Macarius Monastery north of Cairo, was found dead on July 29.

Police concluded that the 64-year-old bishop had been struck with a sharp instrument, which had left him with fractures in the back of his skull.

Vatican News reported that Wael Saad, a former monk who was known as Isaiah, confessed to using an iron bar to bludgeon the bishop. It was reported that Saad was being investigated by the bishop for violating some rules of monasticism.

In a statement, the Coptic Orthodox Church said Saad has a record of failing to abide by the monastery’s rules and that an investigative committee had previously decided to keep him out of the monastery for three years, but other monks had signed a petition calling for him to be pardoned and pledged to help him change his “wrong course.”

The Church has frozen the recruitment of new monks for the next 12 months, banned the use of social media, and instructed monks that leaving monastery grounds requires official permission, the news service said.

The Associated Press said that a second monk was in custody and being investigated. AP quoted Egyption state-run MENA news agency, which identified the 33-year-old monk by his monastic name, Valtos, and said Sunday that he is under police guard after an attempted suicide.

Bishop Epiphanius was a key figure in the modern history of the Coptic Orthodox Church, Vatican News said.

A native of Tanta, he had a degree in medicine. He became a priest in 2002 after entering the Great Monastery of Saint Macarius in 1984. Abbot Epiphanius worked on translations, from Greek to Arabic, of several books of the Bible. A researcher and scholar, he took part in the 10th international Conference on Coptic studies in Rome in 2012. One year later, he was elected Abbot by the 100 monks of the Monastery of Saint Macarius.

His funeral was attended by Pope Tawadros II, the spiritual leader of Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Christians.

Tags:
Christians in the Middle EastCoptic Christians
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
HIDILYN DIAZ
Cerith Gardiner
Gold-winning Filipina Olympian shares her Miraculous Medal for th...
2
SIMONE BILES
Cerith Gardiner
Simone Biles leaves the Olympics with an important lesson for her...
3
PRINCESS DIANA AND MOTHER TERESA
Mathilde De Robien
Did you know Princess Di was buried with a rosary?
4
Zelda Caldwell
World-record winning gymnast Simone Biles leans on her Catholic f...
5
JEDZENIE
Theresa Civantos Barber
The one thing we all should do before this summer ends
6
Zelda Caldwell
German women’s gymnastics teams modest dress protests sport’s ...
7
Lauren Daigle
J-P Mauro
After 3 years Lauren Daigle ousts herself from #1 Billboard spot
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.