Coptic Church strips alleged paedophile priest of clerical status

The National

July 19, 2020

Decision by Pope Tawadros II comes as MeToo movement builds in Egypt

Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church has stripped a priest accused of paedophilia of his clerical status, including the Christian name he was given when ordained, in the latest chapter in the ancient church’s struggle to modernise and stay relevant.

The church’s move, meanwhile, added another layer to the MeToo wave gripping Egypt since dozens of women began last month to publicly share on social media stories of sexual harassment and assault they experienced. Their decision to publicise their ordeals was triggered by the case of a privileged young man accused by dozens of women last month of sexually assaulting and blackmailing them.

The church’s move against the priest was announced in a statement issued on Friday night by Pope Tawadros II, spiritual leader of the orthodox church, which has by far the largest following among mainly Muslim Egypt’s estimated 10-15 million Christians.

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