Theodore II (Sobhi Baki Soleiman) of Alexandria
- For the Eastern Orthodox Pope with the same name and title, see Theodoros II (Choreftakis) of Alexandria.
Pope Theodoros II (Coptic: Template:Coptic Template:Lang-ar is the 118th Coptic Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark since he took office on 18 November 2012, a fortnight after being selected.
Template:Expand section Pope Theodore was born Waǧīh Ṣubḥī Bāqī Sulaymān (وجيه صبحى باقى سليمان) on 4 November 1952 in the region of Mansoura, Egypt. He studied at the University of Alexandria, where he received a degree in pharmacy in 1975. He then managed a state-owned pharmaceutical factory, when he entered the monastery of St. Pishoy in Wadi Natrun to study theology for two years. He was ordained a priest in 1989.
Views and issues
Theodoros has stated that the 2011 Egyptian revolution was a turning point in the Coptic Church's relations with its youth. Amongst his first tasks is the issue of Egypt's changing political landscape, given the new constitution and more independent-minded congregants who seek their demands outside the church in dealing with the state.
Template:Refimprove section The papal selection process began several weeks before the 4 November selection. About 2,400 clergymen and others shortlisted three candidates: Bishop Theodoros, Bishop Raphael, a former aide to the previous Pope, Pope Shenouda III, and Father Raphael Ava Mina, a monk in a monastery near Alexandria, and the disciple of the 116th Pope, Pope Cyril VI. The process faced controversy as many congregants sought a greater say in the process. The three were considered consensus candidates as they were not involved in church disputes and were neither too conservative nor too liberal.
The ceremony to choose the pope from the three consensus candidates was held at Cairo's St. Mark's Cathedral at about noon and featured a marked police presence. Prior to the selection, Metropolitan Pachomios, locum tenens of the Church, sealed the chalice with the names with red wax and put it upon the altar as he led Mass. He then told the congregation: "We will pray that God will choose the good shepherd." Following a moment of silence, a blindfolded boy then picked Theodoros' name from the chalice. The thousands of congregants in attendance then erupted in ovation, tears or prayer. In reaction Theodoros II said, from the monastery at Wadi Natrun: "[We] will start by organising the house from within. It is a responsibility. Most important is...that the church, as an institution, serves the community." Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi congratulated Theodoros and called for Egyptian "unity" and "brotherly love" between Copts and the Muslim community.