In Islamist-led Egypt, Coptic Christians name new pope
The new pope, bishop of a region in the Nile Delta north of Cairo, was shown on television praying at Pope Shenouda's tomb in a desert monastery in Wadi el-Natrun surrounded by priests.
Bearded, bespectacled and in black priestly robes, Tawadros thanked God, praised his predecessor and said: "I carry love to all our brothers in Egypt," in comments broadcast on television.
Church experts said Tawadros, trained as a pharmacist before becoming a priest, had strong communication skills and called for peaceful co-existence in Egyptian society.
Coptic activist Peter el-Naggar welcomed the choice, adding: "He is not the kind of man who would compromise our rights."
Marina Nabil, 20, said amid the applause after the ceremony that lasted several hours: "I am so happy. I have had dealings with Bishop Tawadros before and he is a very wise and calm man."
Muslim leaders and politicians offered congratulations and voiced hopes he would foster greater national unity.
In a ballot last week the candidates had been whittled down to the three. Voters included leading members of the church, public figures and a handful of representatives of the Ethiopian church, which has historic links to the church in Egypt.
The other two candidates for the papal post were Bishop Rafael, a 54-year-old who qualified as a doctor before entering the priesthood, and Father Rafael Afamena, a 70-year-old monk who studied law before taking on holy orders. Continued...