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Homily at the Enthronement of H.H. Pope Tawadros II

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Metropolitan Pakhomius before the Enthronement of Pope Tawadros II

On this blessed day, during which we celebrate the enthronement of our blessed and honored father, His Holiness Pope Tawadros the Second, on behalf of the holy synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the world, we present to you the successor of Saint Mark, the thirteenth apostle, the father of fathers, the archpriest and archbishop, Pope Tawadros the Second.

And my beloved, briefly, we remember our father, His Holiness, the reposed, Pope Shenouda III, whose fatherhood we shall not forget, in addition to his heritage, his leadership, his thought, his love, his zeal, and all his virtues, which we have received and shall pass on from generation to generation and unto the end of the ages.

His Holiness Pope Shenouda III, who has passed from among us, has not left us orphans. He prays for us, and has given us his gift, one of his own children, upon whom he had placed his own apostolic hand, our beloved father, His Holiness Pope Abba Tawadros II.

For our church, my beloved, is a mother. She is not barren. She gives birth to generation after generation. And that which we have received from our ancestors and our saints, we pass on to the coming generations with complete honesty.

We have known His Holiness, our beloved father, Pope Tawadros, since his childhood. A tongue is not able to speak of him. In his childhood, he was a pure. In his adolescence, he was spotless and possessing a serving nature. In his monasticism, he was stringent and ascetic. In his episcopacy, he was zealous and revitalizing.

Therefore, looking forward with the eyes of hope, what he shall introduce will not be for the church of Egypt and the Coptic Church only, but also for the whole world. He shall introduce thought, a spirit, and a heritage full of zeal, and love for the church of God, and for Egypt and her people, her Muslims and Christians, her elders and her young, and her imams and her priests. He shall give these things to Egypt.

And we look ahead with the eyes of hope, that in the manner the Lord used him in past years, he shall use him again unto the end of the ages, O our beloved master.

We, on this joyous day, hand the church to His Holiness. And inasmuch as the Lord worked through us in the recent past to take the responsibility of the work [raucous applause and standing ovation by thousands interrupts], through your prayers and fasts, the Lord has done many great things with us until He brought us unto this blessed day.

My beloved, having taken on the responsibility of the church, we return to our diocese reduced in stature under the feet of His Holiness, our beloved father [the newly installed pope is reduced to tears, visibly shaken, as the congregants rise again to their feet and applaud for minutes. The large television screens clearly show the emotions on his face]

I say this from my heart: I shall be a son to him and a servant under his feet. And all of us in the Holy Synod, we believe in spiritual paternity. There is no conflict over authority in our church! [raucous applause]

We are the sons of Saint Mark and the many patriarchs until Pope Shenouda. We have learned humility from them. We learned penitence from them. We learned the service of the washing of feet from them. So our goal is only the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ and His service.

I thank you, my beloved, for your cooperation with me. I thank my fathers, their graces, the metropolitans and bishops, who labored much with us. The many committees who were formed to bring us to this blessed day.

Many of the beloved – the Holy Synod, the lay councils, the endowment department, the committee for papal candidates, the committee for registrants, the committee for appeals, the committee for elections, the lawyers, the scouts – we offer our appreciation and love to all of them. I wish to thank each one by his or her name, but we lack time.

Translation and editing courtesy of Mark Moussa.

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