In July 2018, Shoebat.com reported on the story of a Coptic bishop that was beaten to death in Egypt. While many times there is persecution of Christians by Muslims, evidence suggests not that the persecutor was a Muslim, but was a homosexual attempting to cover up for his and other persons’ homosexual activity at the monastery where they were located. In addition, there are suggestion that members of the Coptic Orthodox hierarchy were attempting to cover up the allegations of such activity:
The murder of a prominent bishop in a Coptic monastery in the Egyptian desert has been solved after a monk confessed to the crime.
The body of Bishop Epiphanius was found on 29 July at the entrance to his monastic cell in the Saint Macarius monastery, which lies on a desert road north-west of Cairo. The head of the monastery was found in a pool of blood and had received blows to the back of his skull.
The accused monk, Isaiah al-Makari, was defrocked by the church days later, prompting a statement that did not mention the murder but which declared that al-Makari had been under investigation since the beginning of the year.
A group of monks had previously requested that al-Makari remain in the church by signing a petition, which was delivered to Bishop Epiphanius and Pope Tawadros II, the head of the Coptic church, prior to the murder.
The mystery of Epiphanius’ death deepened after a second monk, Faltaous al-Makary, attempted to kill himself by cutting his arteries and throwing himself from the roof a monastery building, before Isaiah al-Makari confessed to killing the bishop.
Bishop Epiphanius’ death prompted 12 new decrees regulating monks’ behaviour from Pope Tawadros II, including a temporary freeze in new recruits, a ban on monks leaving monastery grounds without permission, as well as restrictions on monks’ use of social networks and media appearances. The pope also shut down his Facebook page, which one local news report attributed to a Facebook page set up set up by Faltaous.
Al-Makari’s lawyer, Amir Nossif, declined to defend him after his confession. Nossif told the DMC television channel: “It’s impossible for me to participate in the killing of Bishop Epiphanius.”
The precise motive that drove the monk to carry out the killing remains a matter of speculation. “The devil controlled the monk,” said Nossif, who later added: “According to some monks, there were conflicts between the bishop and the other monks.”
Father Mercurius of the Saint Macarius monastery told the Guardian that the incident had caused great sadness inside the monastery, but that he was unable to discuss the alleged conflict between the monks and the bishop.
He added: “The situation is suffering and agony – we are not able to talk about such things. We still don’t have a motive announced, though those of us who follow the church affairs closely have become aware of that motive.”
Samuel Tadros, an analyst at the Hudson Institute’s Centre for Religious Freedom in Washington DC said suspicions remain about the motive for the killing: “As I have suspected it is personal and scandalous and if ever made public will shock Copts.”
Tadros added that the murder has prompted a profound change in Pope Tawadros II’s leadership. “Since the murder of Bishop Epiphanius, the Pope has been acting differently. He seems to have taken the murder personally. There is no doubt he viewed the bishop positively, looked up to him, and took his advice.” (source)
And from another story:
A few days after the mysterious death of Bishop Epiphanius, head of the Saint Macarius Monastery at Wadi al-Natroun, the Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Church has stripped monk Ash’eyaa al-Makary of his sacerdotal rank and expelled him.
The church said in a statement on Sunday that the monk had committed “inappropriate actions which violate monastic behavior and way of life.”
According to the statement, the decision came following a monastic investigation on al-Makary performed by a special Monastic Affairs committee regarding accusations of misbehavior leveled against him.
Spokesman for the Orthodox Church Boules Halim said that the monk was already under investigation since the beginning of this year and a decision was made to expel him from the monastery for three years, until a group of monks signed a petition requesting he be pardoned and kept, promising to help him change his erroneous behavior.
The petition was then handed to Bishop Epiphanius, who in turn delivered it to Pope Tawadros II accompanied by a plea for his forgiveness.
“Unfortunately the situation continued as it had and the monk did not change his behavior, prompting the Monastic Committee to re-investigate him and take this decision,” Halim said.
Troubles at the monastery haven’t stopped there, as Church sources recently told local media that a young monk attempted suicide by cutting his arteries and throwing himself from the highest building in the monastery.
The source said that the security services will investigate the reasons for the suicide attempt at the same time of their investigations into Bishop Epiphanius’s mysterious death.
Last week, Bishop Epiphanius was found dead in front of his own monastic cell by officials of the Saint Macarius Monastery, surrounded by a pool of blood. They immediately notified the Wadi al-Natroun police, who quickly revealed that the Bishop had fractures in the back of his skull – suggestive of murder.
Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church announced that authorities would open an official investigation due to the suspicious circumstances of the Bishop’s death.
Preliminary investigations suggested that an unknown person may have hit the Bishop’s head with a sharp instrument as he was leaving the monastic cell, which is a domed building monks frequently visit for worship, usually in remote areas.
According to sources who spoke to al-Shrouk newspaper, authorities questioned about 400 workers in the monastery and 150 monks on the incident and where they were when the incident occurred, along with careful examination of the Monastery and it’s surroundings.
The source stated that there were three main possibilities for who the killer was: One of the monks, a worker at the farm attached to the monastery, or from someone outside. (source)
A reader added a comment to this story of interest:
There is much criticism that the Catholic Church has received over the infiltration of homosexual priests into her ranks. This criticism is well-deserved and needs to happen. Truth is the best antidote to lies, and the cover-ups that have taken place within her walls need to be revealed. It is also a mercy from God that this should happen, for the exposure of sin provides for an opportunity for penance.
However, one cannot say that the exposure of sins within the Church is a reason to leave or deny teachings of the Church. Statistically speaking, the Catholic Church has by percentage the lowest rates of sexual abuse from among the Christians denominations and other religions.
We know that there is a gay ring operating in the Catholic Church.
We know that there is a considerable amount of sexual abuse in Protestant churches.
But what about the Orthodox Churches?
Last year, a former Russian Orthodox Priest, Artyem Vechelkovsky, gave an interviews to a Russian magazine you can read here (Russian only) about his leaving the Orthodox Church and announcing that he is a homosexual. In the interview, he says there is a “gay faction” in the Orthodox Church, with priests having regular relations all with the knowledge and consent of the hierarchy:
Q: Is there some sort of “gay component” among those who serve in the priesthood?
A: There is, but I never associate with them. I don’t associate with people only because I have one sexual orientation with them. Many people in the church were interested in me, but with them I would not hang out only because they are faggots, God forgive.
Q: Have you met with other gay priests?
A: I have met, but we often did not discuss our church life, because we were always in the same situation.
Q: Perchance did you discuss oppression concerning orientation?
A: I beg you, such oppression! Faggotry in the church, freedom and freedom! Such is Orwellian doublethink. The rank-and-file relations of the church toward gays is rather tolerant than what she declares. In seminary everybody know everything about me.
Q: What place did relations occupy in your life, when you were a priest?
A: The biggest and most desperate. I had a regular sex life if it interests you. I had a long term relations and one-night stands. I, overall, regard myself as not very happy in these relations. It was what it was.
I don’t want to take away from the gravity of the situation with the Catholic Church, and whatever more needs to come out must come out.
However, what concerns me is the situation with the Orthodox. It has been very silent with many, and yet, as this incident in Egypt shows, and the testimony of this former Russian Orthodox priest, that homosexuality also seems rampant in the Orthodox world. It simply has not been discussed yet, and as this situation with the Coptic Church develops, it many reveal a situation not unlike what happened in the Catholic Church, and potentially worse.
Is the Church attempting to cover this up? The full story will be obtained in time, but the fact that there has been a clampdown on communications coming from the hierarchy, including a complete ban on social media and that monks will not be allowed to leave monasteries without explicit permission suggests, based on experience from the Catholic Church, this may be in place.
This case will be important to watch, because it may lead to a much larger scandal than what many expect. If this is the case, then it is better to have the whole matter cleaned out so the wounds can properly heal.