On the 21st of March, we commemorated the departure of the late and great Fr. Bishoy Kamel. Unfortunately due to time constraints, I have been unable to create an elaborate presentation on this Saint as I did with H.H. Pope St. Kyrillos VI (may Fr. Bishoy forgive me!), but I have decided to create a thread on him in any event, with many valuable resources on his life and person.
For my first of many intended posts in this thread, I would like to refer you all to a very valuable study undertaken by the Rev. Dr. John. H. Watson, titled The Transfigured Cross: A Study of Fr. Bishoy Kamel
; it can be downloaded in pdf format here
From the Editor's Preface
The Coptic Orthodox Christian might ask the question, why has a Western priest and theologian expressed such an enthusiastic interest in a Coptic priest who spent most of his relatively short life of 47 years working in a parish church in Alexandria?
Readers of the Coptic Church Review in the last two decades will have seen and understood many varied contributions from the Revd. Dr. John Watson and will be aware of his other supplements to Coptic Studies. But he has said that his study of Abouna Bishoi Kamel was written to provide a comprehensive appreciation of what he sees as the most significant gift of modern Coptic life and thought to universal Christian spirituality. Fr. Watson has made three visits to the church of Mar Girgis in Sporting, in December 1989, April 1994 and May 2001, exclusively to study the life of Fr. Bishoi on the ground. In preparation for the CCR text he has recorded several taped interviews with Fr. Bishoi?s widow Tasouni Angel Bassili; numerous direct quotations from these recordings are an essential part of the published text.
In nine short chapters, the author has explored the significance of Abouna Bishoi Kamel?s continuing presence in Coptic Egypt. The longest sections of this study explore the Alexandrian priest?s authentic theologia crucis or Theology of the Cross, which the author sees as the key to Fr. Bishoi?s life. These sections also discuss Fr. Bishoi?s confrontation with cancer and record his historical analysis of a church election. Some Western Theology has focused upon an interpretation in which our knowledge of the Being of God is derived from the study of Christ in his humiliation and suffering. Fr. Watson finds an Orthodox resonance in the teaching of FatherBishoi. Four chapters offer shorter but careful surveys of the Coptic Orthodox priest?s biography,parochial ministry, marriage, theological study and publications. One condensed but perceptive section examines his relations with Islam and Muslims.
The conclusion of Fr. John Watson?s study is that the perfect mutual movement between confession of faith and life, which he finds in Abouna Bishoi Kamel, is evidence of such holiness as to define a saint.