AFRICA/EGYPT - Rumors about an alleged contagion from Covid-19 for Coptic Patriarch Tawadros denied

Monday, 20 July 2020 middle east   oriental churches   coronavirus   pedophilia  

Cairo (Agenzia Fides) - No coronavirus infection for Tawadros II, Pope of Alexandria and Coptic Orthodox Patriarch of the See of St. Mark. It is the same Pope Tawadros who confirmed this, with a dry denial in which he defined "false rumors" the allegations spread through social networks that also gave the Head of the Coptic Orthodox Church among the illustrious victims of the coronavirus pandemic. On Saturday 18 July, Father Boutros Halim, spokesman for the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate, also issued a statement to reiterate that the Patriarch is in good health and takes charge of his pastoral commitments every day. Among other things, Patriarch Tawadros issued a statement on Saturday 18 July in which he asked the Egyptian and American civil authorities to no longer recognize Youssef Aziz Khalil as a priest of the Coptic Church, resigned from the clerical state after the proven accusations of pedophilia that emerged against him.
Campaigns launched on social networks to spread rumors about the health of Patriarch Tawadros are frequent . In July 2017 (see Fides, 19/7/2017) an official statement from the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria had to deny the allegations that had flooded the social media regarding an alleged, sudden worsening of Coptic Patriarch’s health condition. The allegations referred to an alleged, precipitous hospitalization of the Patriarch to undergo emergency surgery. In reality - reported the official statement of the Patriarchate - Pope Tawadros in these days was spending a time of spiritual retreat at the monastery of Anba Bishoy, and even then on his agenda surgery was scheduled to cure a herniated disc, which took place place a few months later, in November 2017. (GV) Agenzia Fides, 20/7/2020)