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Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States is a diocese of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria located in the United States of America and encompassing the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.

Diocese of the Southern United States
Location
CountryUnited States
TerritoryAlabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas
Statistics
Churches38
Congregations64
Schools1
Information
DenominationCoptic Orthodox
RiteOriental Orthodox
Established1993
Secular priests49
Current leadership
PopeTawadros II
BishopYoussef

History

The Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States was established in 1993 by Pope Shenouda III of Alexandria in response to the growing number of Coptic Orthodox Churches abroad. was the first Coptic Orthodox Diocese to be established in the United States.[1]

Scandals

Pedophilia

On July 14th 2020, after public declarations by a victim, Hegomen Reweis Aziz Khalil (Now: Yousef Aziz Khalil) was exposed as a pedophile and later defrocked. Khalil was an Egyptian Priest sent to assist the service in several churches and was reported repeatedly throughout the years for assaulting several girls and women in the diocese under the guise of the sacrament of confession. Khalil was moved to another diocese following the discovery. He was also investigated in an interior investigation within the Church, and was removed from the priesthood in 2014; however he managed to continue working as a priest, with the knowledge of the church hierarchy. In an arabic interview with an Egyptian church spokesperson on this topic, the spokesperson reiterated that a priest who has confessed and repented would only removed from service following "not one or two... but Ten or Twenty mistakes." This interview was published on the official facebook page of the church spokesperson and later removed, it was later published by several priests who protested the church's viewpoint[2]. Khalil worked in several churches across the united states and Canada. He was repeatedly reported to bishop Youssef and other priests of this diocese as noted in leaked church documents with no actions taken to enforce mandatory reporting laws. [3][4][5][6][7][8][9]

Khalil served in several churches and was reported repeatedly throughout the years within the church community, however, little was done to bring him to justice. In a leaked church investigation it was revealed that some priests and doctors from among the community counselled victims and other parishioners to keep the situation quiet in order to (1) not defame the church, (2) to prevent Khalil from being imprisoned and potentially suffering from prison violence leading to his death, (3) and prevent the leaders of the diocese from being prosecuted in the United States. [3]

Pope Tawadros II and the late Pope Shenouda III were both aware of the priest's actions but did little to reprimand him. Bishop Youssef, the current bishop of this diocese, was also aware of this priests actions since before 2002 and never reported Khalil to the proper authorities, choosing rather to report him to the Pope and deal with the matter internally.[3]

Statistics

Year Membership Priests Parishes
Hegumen Presbyters Total Churches Communities Total
1993 0 5 5 6* - 6*
1994 0 6 6 6* - 6*
1995 0 7 7 6* - 6*
1996 0 8 8 7* - 7*
1997 1 10 11 7* - 7*
1998 1 11 12 7* - 7*
1999 1 13 14 7* - 7*
2000 2 15 17 7* - 7*
2001 3 17 20 7* - 7*
2002 3 19 22 7* - 7*
2003 3 20 23 7* - 7*
2004 3 20 23 7* 1* 8*
2005 6 20 26 9* 1* 10*
2006 6 21 27 9* 1* 10*
2007 9 22 31 10* 1* 11*
2008 9 24 33 10* 1* 11*
2009 9 26 35 12* 1* 13*
2010 10 29 39 12* 1* 13*
2011 10 28 38 16* 1* 17*
2012 10 36 46 18* 4* 22*
2013 9 38 47 19* 4* 23*
2014 9 38 47 19* 4* 23*
2015 9 40 49 38 28 64
*Number of confirmed churches; actual number of churches in any given year could have

and probably was much larger.

Parishes and schools

As of 2015, the Diocese of the Southern United States operates 64 parishes. However, only 38 of these of formal churches, the other 28 are categorized as communities, which means that they are congregations, and usually possess a church building, but are not full 'churches' yet in that they are not large enough by diocesan standards to be recognized as churches. Communities are served by a visiting priest from a recognized church.

Churches

Florida

  • St. Mary and St. Mina Coptic Orthodox Church, Clearwater
  • St. George Coptic Orthodox Church, Daytona Beach
  • St. Mary Coptic Orthodox Church, Delray Beach
  • St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church, Fort Myers
  • St. Demiana Coptic Orthodox Church, Jacksonville
  • St. Anthony Coptic Orthodox Church, Maitland
  • Archangel Michael Coptic Orthodox Church, Melbourne
  • St. John the Baptist Coptic Orthodox Church, Miami
  • St. Verena Coptic Orthodox Church, New Port Richey
  • St. Reweis Coptic Orthodox Church, New Tampa
  • St. Mary and Archangel Michael Coptic Orthodox Church, Orlando
  • St. Rebekah Coptic Orthodox Church, Orlando
  • St. Athanasius Coptic Orthodox Church, Pensacola
  • St. Simon the Tanner Coptic Orthodox Church, Sarasota
  • St. Mary and St. George Coptic Orthodox Church, Tallahassee
  • St. George Coptic Orthodox Church, Tampa
  • St. Peter, Seal of the Martyrs Coptic Orthodox Church, West Palm Beach

Georgia

  • St. Mary Coptic Orthodox Church, Roswell
  • St. Paul Coptic Orthodox Church, Suwanee

Louisiana

Tennessee

  • St. Pishoy Coptic Orthodox Church, Antioch
  • St. George Coptic Orthodox Church, La Vergne
  • St. Mina Coptic Orthodox Church, Nashville
  • St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church, Nashville
  • St. Mary Coptic Orthodox Church, Nashville
  • St. George Coptic Orthodox Church, Nashville

Texas

  • St. George Coptic Orthodox Church, Arlington
  • The Holy Cross Coptic Orthodox Church, Austin
  • St. Mary Coptic Orthodox Church, Colleyville
  • St. Philopateer Coptic Orthodox Church, Dallas
  • St. Abanoub Coptic Orthodox Church, Euless
  • St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church, Houston
  • Archangel Raphael Coptic Orthodox Church, Houston
  • St. Mary and Archangel Michael Coptic Orthodox Church, Houston
  • St. Antony the Great Coptic Orthodox Church, San Antonio

Communities

Alabama

Arkansas

  • St. George Coptic Orthodox Church, Little Rock
  • St. John the Beloved Coptic Orthodox

Florida

Georgia

  • Archangel Michael Coptic Orthodox Church, Macon
  • St. Augustine Coptic Orthodox Church, Martinez
  • St. Abanoub Coptic Orthodox Church, Savannah

Louisiana

  • St. Mary of Egypt Coptic Orthodox Church, Lafayette
  • St. Barbara Coptic Orthodox Church, Shreveport

New Mexico

Oklahoma

  • St. Peter and St. Paul Coptic Orthodox Church, Bixby
  • St. Samuel the Confessor Coptic Orthodox Church, Lawton
  • Coptic Community, Oklahoma City

Tennessee

  • Coptic Community, Chattanooga
  • St. Abba Sarapamone Coptic Orthodox Church, Clarksville
  • St. Mary Coptic Orthodox Church, Knoxville
  • St. Mary and St. Rueis Coptic Orthodox Church, Memphis
  • St. Athanasius Coptic Orthodox Church, Ooltewah

Texas

Schools

The diocese currently operates only one school, but religious education is often provided to children in the form of Sunday School classes at local Coptic churches.[10]

Tennessee

  • St. Clement Coptic Orthodox Christian Academy, Nashville

Publications

The Diocese of the Southern United States publishes three magazines,

Bishops

  • Bishop Youssef (1993–present)

References

  1. ^ "About the Diocese". St Athanasius American Coptic Orthodox Church. Retrieved 2019-05-19.
  2. ^ Fr.Pishoy, retrieved 2020-08-14
  3. ^ a b c "Egyptian Coptic Priest Defrocked Following Allegations of Sexual Abuse, Paedophilia". Egyptian Streets. 2020-07-19. Retrieved 2020-07-28.
  4. ^ "Egyptian Coptic Priest Defrocked Following Allegations of Sexual Abuse, Paedophilia". Egyptian Streets. 2020-07-19. Retrieved 2020-07-28.
  5. ^ "Coptic Church strips alleged paedophile priest of clerical status". The National. Retrieved 2020-07-28.
  6. ^ Presse, AFP-Agence France. "Coptic Pope Defrocks US-linked Priest Accused Of Paedophilia". www.barrons.com. Retrieved 2020-07-28.
  7. ^ "COPTIC POPE DEFROCKS US-LINKED PRIEST ACCUSED OF PAEDOPHILIA". Voxafrica. 2020-07-18. Retrieved 2020-07-28.
  8. ^ "Coptic pope defrocks US-linked priest accused of paedophilia". Arab News. 2020-07-18. Retrieved 2020-07-28.
  9. ^ "Coptic Pope Defrocks US-Linked Priest Accused Of Paedophilia". Channels Television. Retrieved 2020-07-28.
  10. ^ "Home - Saint Clement Coptic Orthodox Christian Academy". www.stclementacademy.com. Retrieved 2015-10-22.
This page was last edited on 7 September 2020, at 18:18
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