archbishops

Archbishop

ARCHBISHOP Following the apostolic age, all bishops of the church were considered equal in rank and dignity. According to Saint Cyprian (d. 258), “The episcopate is one, of which each bishop holds his part within the undivided structure. The church also is one however widely she has spread among the multitude” (The Unity of the …

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Church Hierarchy

CHURCH HIERARCHY The collective body of organized ecclesiastical ranks, in successive order, one above another. The pyramidal structure consists of a hierarch, the pope as the head of the church, in subordination to whom are the episcopacy composed of METROPOLITANS, ARCHBISHOPS, and BISHOPS as well as the presbytery of protopriests (see HEGUMENOS), PRIESTS, and MONKS. …

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Copto-Arabic Literature

COPTO-ARABIC LITERATURE Coptic literature per se, a subject treated elsewhere, is confined to the writings in the Coptic language during the early centuries of medieval Egyptian history when that language was the spoken language of the people as well as their only written instrument. After the ARAB CONQUEST OF EGYPT in the seventh century, the …

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Apa

APA The Coptic term apa is interchangeable with the Arabic abba, which occurs in Semitic languages, including Syriac, Aramaic, and even Hebrew, all meaning “father.” This is a title of reverence usually preceding names of persons in the church hierarchy. Historically the title is extended to the names of secular martyrs as well. It is …

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Salama II (D. 1388)

SALAMA II (d. 1388) Salama II was the successor of Abuna Ya‘qob and served as metropolitan during the reigns of Negus Sayfa Ar‘ad (1344-1372), Negus Newaya Maryam (1372-1382), and Negus Dawit I (1382-1412). The Liber Axumae indicates that he arrived in Ethiopia in 1341 of the Ethiopian calendar (A.D. 1348-1349) and died in 1380 (A.D. …

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Gabr’el (D. C. 1458)

GABR’EL (d. c. 1458) Gabr’el (Gabriel) arrived in Ethiopia in 1431 of the Ethiopian calendar (A.D. 1438-1439) with another metropolitan, Abuna Mika’el III. They had both been consecrated together by the Coptic patriarch JOHN XI (1427-1452) and were the successors of Abuna Bartalomewos. According to tradition, only one bishop could be appointed metropolitan of Ethiopia. …

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Mika’el III (D. C. 1450s)

MIKA’EL III (d. c. 1450s) Contrary to the tradition which held that there could be only one metropolitan in Ethiopia, Mika’el (Michael) held this post simultaneously with Abuna Gabr’el. Succeeding Abuna Bartalomewos, these two metropolitans arrived in Ethiopia together. With the coadjutor bishop Yohannes, they formed a small group of Coptic prelates who, according to …

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Patriarch

PATRIARCH The head of the Coptic church. The word is a composite term originating from Latin and Greek words: pater (father) or patria (lineage, race, people, nation) and archos (leader or chief). In the Coptic church, the term signifies the head of the entire church organization with archbishops, bishops, and priests under his ecclesiastical authority. …

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