Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
This was sad news to hear of all this controversy. The Church is a human place, full of our human experience, all the ups and downs. We then celebrate our accomplishes together, and grieve our losses together, as one body, one family, as the human body of Christ.
I say this as a convert, but perhaps it was a bit premature to enthrone an underexperienced convert to such a ranking position of leadership? The Church has so many theological and cultural ins and outs, I would simply feel uncomfortable if a convert like myself, no matter how devout or involved, were to take the helm of leadership. I trust God in all decision, especially in electing our blessed Clergies, so I don't necessarily doubt the decisions, so much as if my own Metropolitan or Patriarch were a convert, I would be constantly praying that God grant him the wisdom, strength, and depth of character to navigate the world of priests. I have spent a lot of time close to clergy, and I've had the privilege to sit in on several meetings with bishops about church business, and in all honesty, its such a laborious work, that I am always in admiration. I've learned we call our priests Father because they are very much like earthly fathers in our lives.
Dads have to navigate a world of jealous and bickering children, of immature and selfish demands, of sincerely mending broken hearts, of being a shoulder to cry on, and while at the same time having to always
and so that means tough love, laying down the law, leading by direct and tangible example of doing everything first and showing by example who the children should act. The priests are always in the middle of our lives, and I respect them so much for what they do. I pray that the best leadership in the inward spirit of a man, and not the outward are enthroned as our leaders. I pray that God help us all, as we have these transitions, indeed in Coptic Alexandria as well as here in the Orthodox Church of America.
If another convert takes the helm, let us continue in sincere and supportive prayer for him, that God grants him the strength of character to hold it down in his seat and office, with the rugged and yet tender tenacity of the holy and blessed Saint Athanasius