Holy Synod Decrees, May 2015
The Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, chaired by the Patriarch of Alexandria, is the highest authority in the Church. It meets on a regular basis to formulate the rules and regulations regarding matters of the church's organisation and faith. It consists of metropolitan archbishops, metropolitan bishops, diocesan bishops along with the other bishops.
The decrees on the Holy Synod on May of 2015 include:
1- Recognizing The Monastery of the Virgin Mary & Archangel Michael for nuns in Dairut.
2- An official letter to His Holiness requesting the approval for each novice to take the monastic vow must be submitted by the Abbot of the monastery.
3- A "Monastery Center" is an administrative and lodging center for monks and nuns, with certain health or social conditions. The center should not get involved in any ecclesiastic services or pastoral care except the divine liturgy.
4- Establishing a center for a monastery requires approval and written permission from His Holiness the Pope and/or the Bishop of the Diocese as to where the center will be established. Abbotts are to rectify situations that contradict this decision.
5- Churches are obligated to follow the usual rituals of the Resurrection Re-enacting without the use of any special effects of sound, light, 3D, special theatrical effects or fog, etc.
6- Lately there has been spreading of writings attributed directly or indirectly to His Holiness Pope Cyril VI, who was canonized by our church during the Holy Synod’s assembly in June 2013. In these books, the writer uses phrases like: "I partook of the Holy Sacrament before the creation of the world;" and "not by repentance or by good deeds we reach the Kingdom” also “Keeping the commandments does not lead to salvation;” and “Call on Lord Jesus and do not call St. Mary;” as well as “We will not be rewarded for good deeds and will not be punished for evil deeds.” These statements and what they represent can never be said, explained or endorsed by the departed Saint and Pope. It is for this we caution against such writings and enforce banning its distribution in the libraries of our churches and monasteries.
Recommendations of the Holy Synod Committees, May 2015
Committee of Public Relations:
1- Establishing branches for “Bayt Al A’ela Al Misriya” (Home of the Egyptian Family) in each diocese.
2- Encouraging the establishment of a financial support fund for Crisis management.
3- Establishing a Committee for Public Relations in each diocese.
Committee of Family Affairs:
1- Encourage couples considering marriage to attend a course in family counseling before marriage.
Committee of Pastoral Care and Service:
1- Review the regulations of chanters and celibate consecration for a vote next November.
Committee of Media and Information:
1- His Eminence Metropolitan Bishoy is selected as the secretary of the Satellite Channels Committee.
2- Establishing a subcommittee for printed and electronic Media. His Grace Bishop Thomas is selected as its secretary.
Committee of Faith, Education and Legislation:
1- To collaborate with the committee of the Churches Abroad to produce specialized and extensively researched publications to address and answer current questions among our youth in Egypt and abroad.
Committee of the Churches Abroad:
1- To highlight the identity of the Coptic Orthodox Church in all publications, documents, releases and television programs and focus on the attribute "Coptic", emphasizing its title of “Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria”
1- To elect the Holy Synod Secretariat Committee during the Holy Synod session convening in May 2016. It has been decided that the Holy Synod of the Coptic Church convenes once every year before the Feast of Pentecost and the seminar for the bishops takes place once a year before the Nativity fast.