Visit our new website: worldnews.easybranches.com

Egypt prosecutors probing monk’s death in desert monastery

  • Thu, 27 Sep 2018 09:28
Author: 
By HAMZA HENDAWI | AP
ID: 
1537991957269214200
Wed, 2018-09-26 (All day)

CAIRO: In an incident that brought the woes of one of the world’s oldest churches back under the spotlight, Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church said on Wednesday that prosecutors are investigating the death of a monk who had until recently served in a monastery northwest of Cairo where the abbot was killed in July.
Two monks — one of whom has been defrocked — are on trial for the death of the abbot, Bishop Epiphanius. The trial opened Sunday and was scheduled to resume Thursday when, according to security officials, the deceased monk was to give his testimony.
The monk, identified by the church by his monastic name Zeinoun Al-Maqari, was the “confessional father” of one of the monks on trial, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media.
The monk’s death was announced in a brief statement issued by the Coptic Orthodox Church. It said the cause of his death at the Al-Muharraq monastery in southern Egypt remained unknown. However, security and medical officials said they could not rule out suicide. An initial examination of the body suggested that poisoning might have been the cause of death, they said.
A full autopsy to determine the cause of death was due to be performed, they said.
The body was kept under tight security in a hospital in Assiut, the nearest city to Al-Muharraq monastery where the monk served since August. The monastery was also sealed off by police and security officers who were reviewing footage from its security cameras.
The church statement said Zeinoun was transferred to Al-Muharraq monastery following Epiphanius’ death. That suggested the monk may have been involved in a now-publicized disciplinary dispute between the abbot and several monks at St. Macarious, which required the intervention of the spiritual leader of the church, Pope Tawadros II.
The security officials said Zeinoun’s name also came up as a possible accomplice in the abbot’s killing during lengthy questioning of witnesses by prosecutors.
Zeinoun was one of six monks transferred out of St. Macarious monastery as part of efforts to instill greater discipline. At the time, the church slapped a yearlong suspension on the admission of novices, threatened to expel monks found to have established “illegal” monasteries and gave monks a month to shut down social media accounts. It also forbade unauthorized media interviews.
Epiphanius’ killing has shaken Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church, which introduced monasticism to the faith, but its monastic desert traditions had largely vanished before being revived over the past century.
The July killing took on added significance because monks were the main suspects. It also exposed a side of the church that few in Egypt — Muslim or Christian — knew existed, including the growing power and independence of monks in remote monasteries who appear to be at odds with Tawadros and the church’s central leadership.
The security officials said Zeinoun was dying when monks went to his cell in the small hours to fetch him for vespers. He was rushed to hospital but died before he arrived there, they said. A photo of him released by the church suggests he was in his 30s or early 40s.
News of Wednesday’s death broke at a time when the church was in the spotlight again.
An embarrassing video widely shared on social media networks surfaced this week, showing US-based Coptic Bishop Ioannis offering Egyptian Christians in New Jersey free transportation, sandwiches and sodas to travel to New York to cheer visiting President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.
“Come out for the sake of God, for the sake of the church and your families,” he told a gathering assembled at a New Jersey church. “The buses will be free, so come, it would be a change of weather and a chance to see New York. We will also bring you sandwiches and sodas.”
El-Sisi is in New York to attend the annual UN General Assembly and meet world leaders on the sidelines. Video footage of him in New York show several dozen Egyptian expatriates waving flags and carrying images of the Egyptian leader.
“We need two buses. God will bless them and when they are video graphed they will look like they are 10,” he said.

Main category: 
Middle-East

Tags


US Weekly

Related Stories

Egypt official: Home-made bomb explodes near mosque, 3 hurt
  • Sat, 16 Feb 2019 01:19

Author: By MAGGIE MICHAEL | APID: 1550238667145584800Fri, 2019-02-15 12:55 CAIRO: An Egyptian security official says a home-made bomb has e...

Living on the edge, Namib Desert by James Boardman-Woodend
  • Wed, 13 Feb 2019 22:58

Living on the edge, Namib Desert by James Boardman-Woodend James Boardman-Woodend: Photos ...

Erdogan visits site of Turkey building collapse; death toll 17
  • Sun, 10 Feb 2019 09:33

Author: Sat, 2019-02-09 22:44 ISTANBUL: Turkey’s president on Saturday visited the scene of the apartment building collapse in Istanbul for th...

Sudan protesters rally against death of teacher in custody
  • Sat, 09 Feb 2019 00:32

Author: AFPID: 1549636535039030800Fri, 2019-02-08 14:26 KHARTOUM: Sudanese protesters rallied after Friday prayers in an eastern town again...

Winter Sunset in the Desert by Daniel Fleischhacker
  • Thu, 07 Feb 2019 09:23

Winter Sunset in the Desert by Daniel Fleischhacker All the techniques used on this image are demonstrated in my set of in depth ...

Egypt opposition rejects move to extend El-Sisi’s rule
  • Thu, 07 Feb 2019 08:22

Author: Wed, 2019-02-06 22:08 CAIRO: Egyptian opposition parties have formed a coalition against proposed changes to the constitution that woul...

TSA officer jumps to his death at US airport, causing panic and flight delays
  • Sun, 03 Feb 2019 12:04

Author: APID: 1549146404094651400Sun, 2019-02-03 01:00 ORLANDO, Florida: An officer from the Transportation Security Administration jumped ...

Indonesia flood, landslide death toll hits 70
  • Wed, 30 Jan 2019 03:19

Author: AFPID: 1548757954498928900Tue, 2019-01-29 10:23 JAKARTA: Floods and landslides that battered Indonesia’s Sulawesi island have kil...

Indonesia death toll from floods, landslides climbs to 68
  • Mon, 28 Jan 2019 01:55

Author: ReutersID: 1548580382082741800Sun, 2019-01-27 08:56 JAKARTA: At least 68 people have been killed and nearly 7,000 forced to take re...

Sudan’s Bashir to visit Egypt as protesters call for more rallies
  • Sun, 27 Jan 2019 23:37

Author: AFPID: 1548581167292797100Sat, 2019-01-26 18:46 KHARTOUM: Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir will travel to Cairo for talks with his...

Egypt opens new international airport in Giza for trial flights
  • Sun, 27 Jan 2019 22:20

Author: ReutersID: 1548581186942799300Sat, 2019-01-26 20:16 CAIRO: Egypt opened a new international airport on the outskirts of the capital...

Indonesia floods, landslides death toll climbs to 59
  • Fri, 25 Jan 2019 14:02

Author: AFPID: 1548387794895859600Fri, 2019-01-25 03:38MAKASSAR, Indonesia: Floods and landslides in Indonesia have now killed at least 59 p...


الاقسام