Welcome to Canon15.Nicaea.Ca

In the past century, the ancient practice of selecting from among the monks for the Patriarchate of Alexandria has been replaced with selection from among the bishops. There has been a great deal of debate surrounding the legality and correctness of this practise. This site began as an open letter from the Coptic Orthodox of Canada asking the Synod to follow the canons of the Church, which forbid the transfer of a bishop from one diocese to another. There has also been a great deal of debate over whether the canons apply to the order of general bishops, and even whether there ought to be such a thing as a general bishop (an innovation of the 20th century). 

H.H. Pope Tawadros II was selected, and is now the 118th Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria, the See of St. Mark. Axios! Axios! Axios!

This site was taken down for some time, as the time for argument has passed, the decision is made. It is now back up in order to serve as a collection of good references as the church continues to debate the role of general bishops, and the bylaws governing the selection of the Patriarch. As such, many of the articles specific to past events will gradually be removed in order to leave only that which is still relevant.

Not a Petition

Q: Is it implied that we are not going to accept a Pope who is not canonical?

A: It is saying that we have objection to choosing someone non-canonical. What happens if they do choose someone is entirely divorced from this letter. you are not signing a commitment to autocephaly or schism if you sign.


Q: How is this not a petition?

A: A petition is when a group of people make a letter to make a demand of someone. We are not making any demands, we are not protesting etc... We are telling them, humbly, what we understand the faith to be and are asking them to take that into consideration as they deliberate. We are not telling them what to do, or giving ultimatums.

A2: I just want to clarify some differences between "petitioning" and writing this letter, because some good and fair questions have been raised from all of this.

1. When petitioning/protesting re: persecution in Egypt, there are multiple things wrong with that. We are rejecting our cross by saying we demand an end etc... and we are taking God's will into our own hands by saying "We object to X and demand you do Y". There is a spirit of taking justice into our own hand, as well as spurning our collective calling. Abouna made a point of saying that it is NOT A SIN to participate in such demonstrations or petitions, but that it is not perfection, and it is not taking up your cross.

2. Petitions re: gay marriage and things of that sort. My objection to those is that the same law that lets them get married is the same one that lets me be Orthodox in Canada. Be careful what you say because if you ask them to do something to one group, you have to accept that it could be done to you.

3. Advocacy is not always wrong. There is nothing wrong with writing a letter to an MP saying, "how can we help these people who are fleeing" -- that's totally different from "the government is evil and we demand you censure the government etc...". You are not rejecting the persecution, you are not escaping God's blessings, you are not ordering people around. You are saying "this is happening" and what can we do.

4. The Church has ASKED for us to raise our objections and concern during this period. That is WHY they did not go from the list that was made last week to a vote the next day. They specifically use this period to receive the concerns and/or objections of the people. In fact, His Eminence put out his e-mail publicly and asked that we, the Copts around the world, send him what we are concerned about.

So, I'm writing this to say, the letter that we are sending is not unholy, is not presumptuous, is not a petition, and is in fact, even asked for by the Holy Synod We are not demanding anything, we are not protesting anything, we are not saying if you do X we will do Y. We are responding to the Synod's request with a letter, saying what we understand to be right, and what we are thinking as a people. If you are NOT in agreement to this, there is no harm or wrong or judgment in that, simply do not sign. :)