Bishop Marcuzzo attends enthronement of the new Coptic Catholic Patriarch
His Beatitude, Ibrahim Isaac Sidrak was enthroned on Tuesday, March 12, at the Cathedral of Our Lady Queen of Egypt in Nasr city. The Patriarch was elected by the Synod of the Coptic Catholic Church on January 15, 2013. Pope Benedict XVI formally welcomed the election of His Beatitude on 18 January. Bishop Marcuzzo attended the ceremony in Cairo as the official representative of the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem.
Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal was at the meeting of the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land, and designated Bishop Marcuzzo, Patriarchal Vicar for Israel to represent him. Bishop Marcuzzo did not hide a more personal reason behind it: “I willingly volunteered my name because the new Patriarch is a friend. Together in the 80’s, we had two years of theological specialization in Rome living in the same Oriental College for Priests.” The ceremony was attended by many priests, religious and faithful from all over Egypt with all the Patriarchs of the East or their representatives.
Three months after the election of Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II, the young Patriarch (57 years old) brings a breath of youth and hope when Egypt, two years after the “Arab Spring,” paved the way for the Muslim Brotherhood and aroused great concern among Christians. A native of the region of Assiut, Upper Egypt, Bishop Sidrak was ordained a priest in 1980. After moving to Cairo, as a parish priest, and then to Rome to complete his academic training, he was consecrated Bishop of Minya in 2002. In October 2010, he also participated in the Synod on the Middle East in Rome. If the Coptic Catholics claim the succession of St. Mark, they are about 250,000 and therefore a lot less in number than the Coptic Orthodox (10 million faithful). Nevertheless, the Coptic Catholic Church now stands as a visible player in public life, thanks in large part to its educational works.