Coptic Bishop, President of Agora University Advisory Board Violently Murdered

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 29, 2018

Coptic Bishop, President of Agora University Advisory Board Violently Murdered

Christ is Risen! It is with sadness but also with hope in the Resurrection that we announce the departure of His Grace Bishop Epiphanius, abbot of the Monastery of Saint Macarius in Wadi Al-Natrun, Egypt and President of the Advisory Board of Agora University. Preliminary reports indicate that as His Grace Bishop Epiphanius was walking toward the church of the monastery for the morning service he was attacked and violently murdered.

On behalf of Agora University’s administration, faculty and students, the Board of Trustees extends its deepest sympathy and condolences to the monks of the Monastery, the spiritual children of His Grace, the academic community, and the Coptic Orthodox Church at large. His Grace’s goal as President of the Advisory Board at Agora University was the honest advancement of Orthodox-based education and the encouragement of younger generations to appreciate the spiritual treasures of the Coptic Orthodox Church. His Grace’s vision, mentorship and direction greatly influenced our ability to offer Orthodoxy to our students within the challenging context of our modern times.

Before his consecration as Bishop on March 10, 2013, Bishop Epiphanius was ordained a monk on April 21, 1984 at the Monastery of Saint Macarius. He was a student of the late Fr. Matta Al-Miskin. His Grace was a leading scholar and expert in Coptic Studies and its various specializations and has published extensively in this field. Additionally, His Grace was a leading figure in ecumenical relations and education. His Grace fulfilled his advisory role at Agora University with such a high level of integrity, without concern for building a name or legacy for himself, but rather embracing a prayerful approach of serving the collective Body of Christ. This is what made His Grace an ideal person for this role at Agora University.

“As we thank God and celebrate his life, priesthood, and leadership as Bishop and his insightful vision as President of the Advisory Board at Agora University, we ask for the repose of his soul and for the grace of the Holy Spirit to comfort our hearts for his sudden loss” said Fr. Michael Sorial, President and CEO of Agora University.

“Bishop Epiphanius was planning to present the Master degree certificates to our first graduating cohort this Fall. Without him being physically with us to do so, knowing that his love and support transcends the confines of our bodily limitations, we believe that His Grace will truly be with us. We have won an intercessor before the majesty of God’s throne, where true theology that surpasses all expression is much more fully encountered as we shall see face to face and shall know more fully,” said Emmanuel Gergis, Provost and Vice President of Agora University.

Agora University will establish a scholarship fund in the name of Bishop Epiphanius to celebrate his legacy, not only as an academic figure of the highest caliber but as a saintly man who was truly enlightened by his unity with Christ.

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