Sunday, August 19, 2018


by Bob Walsh

It would give a good basic plot line to Agatha Christie, but this one is for real.

Bishop Epiphanius, 64, was found beaten to death with your basic blunt instrument at the 4th century St. Macarius Coptic Christian Abbey outside of Cairo on July 29. A few days later Coptic officials kick a monk, Isiah al-Makari, who had a beef of some sort with the abbot shortly before his untimely demise. Shortly after that another monk, age 33, slashed his wrists and jumped off the roof of the building. He survived.

Al-Makari's lawyer says that "The devil controlled the monk." I am not sure exactly which monk is being referred to. The abbot was considered to be something of a reformer among the Copts, which comprise about 10% of Egypt's population.

This is the biggest scandal that has hit the Copts in 17 years. Back in 2001 they caught a monk having sex with a woman a church altar, which I guess is sort of frowned on, at least by the traditionalists. Maybe the reformers didn't have so much of a problem with it..

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