Bishop Tawadros

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Wagih Sobhy Baqi Suleiman, Bishop Tawadros

Also Known As: "Wagih Sobhy Baqi Suleiman"
Birthplace: Mansoura region, Nile Delta, Egypt
Occupation: Pope of Alexandria, Patriarch of Africa, and Holy See of St. Mark the Apostle
Managed by: Malka Mysels
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About Bishop Tawadros

Born Wagih Sobhy Baqui Suleiman in the region of Mansoura, in the Nile Delta, Bishop Tawadros, the new patriarch, aged 60, studied pharmacy in Alexandria before joining the church. He was a monk in the monastery in the Wadi Natrun, a place of spirituality at the northeast of Cairo, and became bishop in 1997.

On November 18, Tawadros will assume his new position as the new Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of All Africa in the Holy See of St Mark the Apostle, and so the spiritual head of the largest Christian minority in the Middle East, becoming the 118th pope in a line dating back to the origins of Christianity and to Saint Mark, the apostle and author of one of the four Gospels, who brought the new faith to Egypt.

As pope, Bishop Tawadros will serve as the spiritual leader of Egypt's Coptic Christians, who make up between six and 10 percent of its 83-million-strong population. Bishop Tawadros received his Bachelors Degree in Pharmacy in from Alexandria University in 1975, and earned a fellowship in World Health 1985 in England. Between obtaining his two degrees he began studying at the seminary in 1981, the same year Pope Shenouda III was banished by President Anwar Al-Sadat.

Tawadros converted to monasticism in 1988 and was ordained a priest two years later. He was ordained Bishop Tawadros, General Bishop of Beheira, by Shenouda in 1997.

As bishop Tawadros gained a reputation for his ability to explain complex theological topics and his work with the youth. He enjoys a close relationship with the Metropolitan of Beheira Bishop Pachomious, locum tenens of the Church until the new pope has been selected.

Bishop Tawadros has expressed his belief that the Church's role should be pastoral and service-oriented, and not as a political actor.

According to Church accounts, Tawadros encourages political progress to come about by Christians' participation in the political process independent of the Church, which should only intervene in extreme cases.

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