Dr. Bebawy is a very opinionated person, but also a person who did and said many controversial things in his life.
I listened to some of his lectures online that are offered in English. While many are edifying, I so far heard two things that made me wonder if really our bishops were all that wrong or not. For instance, he believes true Orthodox Christianity is neither Monotheistic or Polytheistic. He hates the label "Monotheism" on Christian faith in God. Then another story he shared with the class was when he was a Coptic deacon at some point and he decided to give communion to Mennonites after permission from a priest.
Let's be honest, is it really merely theosis that Dr. Bebawy was excommunicated? Don't get me wrong, I don't want to assassinate Dr. Bebawy's character. I think he has a lot to offer for any Church today, and he's a great theologian, and I have great respect for him. I also feel that the whole theosis issue is blown out of proportion and have lead many to misunderstand one another and assassinate one another's characters, and I feel some sympathy with Dr. Bebawy, but I don't lay the blame on His Holiness Pope Shenouda either.
So reading this article, it's very typical of Dr. Bebawy's opinionated self, as well as not afraid to say what is on his mind, even if it may offend anyone in his own Church. I believe Dr. Bebawy has said things that the EO's wouldn't be proud of having him say, but he says them anyway, because he simply says what's on his mind, not because it's a dogmatic understanding. He doesn't view the Coptic Church or tradition as a whole as backward, but he did have a very bad experience, and the Coptic Church did have her dark times. But the things he complains about as in the Manichaen tendencies of Coptic monks and the weird practices of Ethiopian pious areas are all things that have clearly been condemned by respective Coptic and Ethiopian bishops and educated priests. And let's be honest. Dr. Bebawy knows a lot about the Coptic Church, because he's a Copt. But can we say that there were never any dark times for Greeks or Russians in the past with certain practices of their own monks or priests, honestly? It would be interesting to find one day a Bebawy version of a Russian leaving his own church due to experiences he seen and fed up with.
In addition, Dr. Bebawy speaks in simplicity concerning the Council of Chalcedon and finds in it things he agrees with and things in the Coptic liturgical texts that agree with it. But to be honest, as any objective scholar can understand, when one reads post-Chalcedonian anti-Chalcedonian fathers, they too suffice for the plethora of dogmatic statements that are allegedly "Chalcedonian" in our liturgical books, and Dr. Bebawi has failed to mention many great theologians like St. Severus. But I also notice that he refrained from calling the Coptic Church as a whole Eutychian, or the post-Chalcedonian tradition as Eutychian either, and even St. Dioscorus, he didn't call a heretic, but simply "wrong."
That's my two cents. There are more of course I can talk about, but at least this is my reaction to the article, which honestly I'm not surprised in reading. But let us at least read into this that he is still not a hard line, anti-OO man. He reveres HH Pope Kyrillos VI and other Coptic monk and really values their holiness. For someone like Patrick Barnes, he might have called those mystical experiences demonic, just as they called the Marian Apparition at Zeitoun. But Dr. Bebawy didn't, which shows he still may have some respect for OO Church fathers if pushed to ask. But Dr. Bebawy's specialty and expertise is in the first five centuries; he seems so turned off after Chalcedon he seemed to stop reading much about it.