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New Patriarch for Egypt's Coptic Catholics

January 18, 2013

Cardinal Antonios Naguib has resigned as Patriarch of Alexandria and head of the Coptic Catholic Church, at the age of 77. The Coptic Synod, with the approval of Pope Benedict XVI, has elected Patriarch Ibrahim Isaac Sidrak to replace him.

Born in Egypt in 1955 and ordained to the priesthood in 1980, the new Patriarch obtained a doctorate in theology from the Gregorian University in Rome and taught in the Coptic Catholic seminary in Maadi before becoming Bishop of Minya in 2002.

There are about 150,000 Coptic Catholics living in Egypt today. That figure is down dramatically from an estimated high of 250,000 in 2005, reflecting the exodus of Christians from the Middle East. Most members of Egypt’s Christian minority belong to the Coptic Orthodox Church.


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