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The Holy Synod and Nominations Committee of the Coptic Orthodox Church have announced that the new pope to succeed His Holiness the late Pope Shenouda III, the 117th Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of All Africa on the holy Apostolic See of Saint Mark, will be chosen on 2 December 2012. Pope Shenouda III died on 17 March 2012 after 41 years in office.The Papal Selection Timeline as announced on Wednesday 12 September 2012:14 September- Final papal nominations announced by nominations committee15-30 September - Period for challenges to nominations by voters1-3 October - Church-wide fast for the coming stage of the process3 October - Nominations committee commences deliberations and creates a shortlist of five - sevencandidates for papal election19-21 November - Church-wide fast before Papal election24 November - Papal election26-9 November - Church-wide fast preceding Altar Ballot2 December - Liturgical service at the Grand Cathedral of St Mark in which the Altar Ballot will take place and the new pope will be chosen.The Nominations Committee also issued the final list of Papal Candidates on Wednesday 12 September. They are:Metropolitan Bishoy of DamiettaBishop YouannesBishop RafaelBishop Pafnotious of SamaloutBishop BoutrosBishop TawadrousBishop Kyrollos of MilanFather Rafael Ava-MinaFather Maximos El-AntonyFather Shenouda Anba-BishoyFather Pakhomious El-SourianyFather Daniel El-SaurianFather Anastasia El-SamuelFather Bishoy Anba-PaulaFather Saweris Anba-PaulaFather Seraphim El-SourianyFather Pigol Anba-BishoyHis Grace Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom said: “The papal selection process, albeit lengthy, has been carried out thus far with integrity, transparency and inclusion of the broad spectrum of the Coptic Orthodox Church both inside and outside Egypt. As we approach the selection of the new pope, we are confident that this process has been carried out for centuries, and is not merely based on democratic election, but primarily on a collective prayerfulness and faith in God’s choice.”
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