The Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria is the Successor of Saint Mark the Apostle and the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria. The 117th Pope was Pope Shenouda III who reposed in the Lord on March 17, 2012. Metropolitan Bakhomious, archbishop of Beheira and five western cities, was chosen as chair of the Holy Synod and locum tenens of the See of Saint Mark.
Following the Holy Tradition of the Church, the Pope is chairman and head of the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria as a first among equals. This organization is the highest authority in the Church of Alexandria. It formulates the rules and regulations regarding matters of the church’s organization, faith, and order. The Pope is also the chairman of the church’s General Congregation Council (Al Majlis al Milli).
Although historically associated with the city of Alexandria, the residence and Seat of the Coptic Orthodox Pope of Alexandria has been located in Cairo since 1047. The Pope is currently established in Saint Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral, in a compound which includes the Patriarchal palace, with an additional residence at the Monastery of Saint Pishoy in the wilderness of Shiheet.