Cairo (Agenzia Fides) - "I never wanted to become Patriarch" and "I suffer when I see that the Church is not valued and taken for granted". This was revealed by Pope Tawadros II, Coptic Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria, during an interview by journalist Hamdi Rizk and broadcast by the Egyptian television network Sada Elbalad.
During the interview, the Patriarch sincerely exposed considerations that reveal his feelings about the Church and the difficulties encountered in carrying out his patriarchal ministry. "When I learned that my name was among those of the candidates chosen for the election, I prayed to the Lord to spare me from this great responsibility, and my mother had the same desire as mine. For me Cairo was far away, I worked in Alexandria and I used to go to Cairo once a year". The Patriarch reveals that he suffers to see that the Church is not valued and taken for granted in church circles. "When people see that the Church is no longer valued, problems begin. As in any other institution run with neglect. But we can tackle these problems and find solutions by treasuring the Bible and church traditions". "The Coptic Church - Pope Tawadros remarked - is not managed according to the mood and whim a person, but according to canonical criteria and regulations, which are renewed through the observance of dogma".
In the interview, the Patriarch acknowledged the resistances and obstacles put in place by ecclesiastical sectors that oppose the reform and renewal phase underway in the Coptic Orthodox Church. The Patriarch also referred to publications and interventions that have attacked him in the media and on social networks in recent years and denied gossip about himself, which he described as "the price to pay" to proceed on the path of ecclesial renewal and return to the sources. Pope Tawadros reiterated that, in his opinion 95 percent of the information about himself published by certain blogs is false or manipulated.
During the interview, the Patriarch confided that he continues to feel a strong spiritual attraction for the monastic life, revealing that he has often gone, even in recent years, to the Anba Bishoy monastery, also to meet his confessor and spiritual father, Anba Sarapamun, Abbot of the monastery, who passed away on March 8 at the age of 84. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 4/12/2020)