The Archangel Michael Coptic Orthodox Church in Cairo The Archangel Michael Coptic Orthodox Church in Cairo  (AFP or licensors)

Two new bishops for Egypt’s Coptic Catholic Church

Father Thomas Faragalla and Father Ayoub Akhnoukh will be ordained bishops in the ancient Church of Egypt.

By Joseph Tulloch

The Synod of Bishops of the Coptic Catholic Patriarchate of Alexandria has elected two new heirarchs. 

The Reverend Thomas Esam William Bolos Faragalla will be consecrated bishop of the eparchy of Al Qusia, while the Rev.d Ayoub Matta Usama Shafik Akhnoukh will become bishop of Assiut. 


Father Faragalla is currently protosyncellus (bishop’s assistant) in the eparchy of Assiut, as well as parish priest of its cathedral. He was born in Al Qusia in 1967, studied for the priesthood the Patriarchal Seminary in Maadi, Cairo, and was ordained in 1995. After ordination, he worked in various parishes in Egypt, and spent a year in Paris, where he led to city’s Coptic Catholic community. In addition to his native Arabic, he speaks Italian, French, and English. 

Father Akhnoukh was born in Assiut in 1971. He studied Social Work at university before entering seminary. In 2002 he was ordained a priest, serving first in Egypt and then as parish priest for the Coptic community of Melbourne and Sydney, Australia. He is currently director of the eparchy of Assiut’s office of Human Development, and speaks Arabic, English, and French. 

The Coptic Catholic Church

There have been Christians in Egypt since the first century.

According to tradition, it was the Apostle Mark himself who brought the faith to the country. Once a majority, the Coptic Orthodox Church now accounts for around 10% of the Egyptian population. 

In the modern era, some Coptic Orthodox believers came into communion with Rome, forming the Coptic Catholic Church. There are ten Coptic Catholic eparchies (or dioceses) in Egypt, as well as a small diaspora.  

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31 March 2023, 15:43