MELBOURNE (VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA)
July 19, 2020
Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church’s spokesperson announced on Saturday evening that Pope Tawadros II has decided to defrock priest Rewiess Aziz Khalil, a priest of the Diocese of Minya and Abu Qurqas who had been residing in North America, following allegations of sexual abuse and paedophilia.
The first statement, published on Facebook, was released by the Diocese of Minya and Abu Qurqas, announcing that Reweiss Aziz Khalil had been stripped of his title and returned him to his pre-ordination name Yousef Aziz Khalil.
A separate letter by Pope Tawadros II, Papal Decree 6/20, posted in English on the Church’s spokesperson’s Facebook page, recognised earlier claims by victims of Aziz Khalil that he had previously been defrocked and also announced his defrocking.
“After reviewing the records of the recent investigation related to Reweiss Aziz Khalil, a priest of the Diocese of Menia and Abu Qurkas, who presently resides outside of Egypt, and after taking into consideration the prior decrees defrocking him for his repeated infringements that are unacceptable to the Priesthood and its ministry, we have decided, in addition to our previous decree dated Feb 26, 2014 defrocking him from all ministry in the Coptic Orthodox Church, effective immediately, he is hereby laicized and must return to his former pre-ordination name of Yousef Aziz Khalil. He is hereby stripped of his priestly rank,” read the letter signed by Pope Tawadros II.
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