The Coptic Orthodox church congregations in California

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I am one of many members of the Coptic Orthodox Church in California who loves the Coptic Orthodox church, its Fathers, Bishops and Pope.

I believe very strongly and love our Orthodox faith.

I believe in God and his love for everyone no matter what happens. His unconditional love for the elders, adults, youth, young children and his love for the poor before the rich. This is what I believe in and learned from my parents, servants, priests, bishops and his Holiness Pope Shenouda III, may God rest his sole. I am one of thousands of people who share the same experience, which has made it very uncomfortable to be around Bishop Serapion. Please forgive me when I say that he is very authoritative, does not have Gods love in his heart, he always puts the congregations and servants down and yells at them. The deacons who have served with him refuses to serve with him in the alter and avoid going to church on the days he visits them. The deacons are afraid of him and dislike him due to his unkind words and anger towards everyone when he comes to the church. He has rejected ordaining children of God who were scheduled to be ordained at the following Churches: St. Mark Los Angeles, Archangel Michael Orange County, St. Athanasius, Northridge and St. George, Bellflower and did not care if the parents had taken time off from work so that their kids can participate in the ordination. He has become very hostile towards people and refuses to listen to anyone.

One of the many examples that I would like to share with you, when your Holiness visited the various churches in California in October 2015, he gave orders that we cannot touch you, speak to you, come near you or give you any kind of letters. In addition, he publicly announced that it is better for people to stay home and watch your Holiness on TV instead of coming to the church and great you. It was also annouced that it is better for children not to attend or come so they don’t cause distractions. Yet, they were towing with the idea because they know that you have great love for Children and how would it look like if you came to the church and all you saw is adults. I believe your goal was to see the people, bless them and get to know them. I don't understand how someone that has this type of personality and position as a Bishop can be like this. One might say about Bishop Serapion that he likes order and organization. I strongly believe in order and organization and best behavior but I also believe in a good loving leadership on all levels. Good leaders will have the congregation follow and listen to them. With all due respect, Bishop Serapion does not have any followers. If you do a survey to all the congregation about Bishop Serapion, you will find every word in this petition is very true, very accurate and everyone will concur with what is being said. He has called servants crazy, sinners and should not go to church. How can someone in his role allow such words to come out of his mouth? Shouldn’t his job be to bring people closer to God instead of pushing them away by his actions. The congregation feels that they are being treated unfairly, disrespected and mistreated. At the English Youth meeting you said “ the children are the future of the church” , how can they be the future if we don't allow them, guide them and give them the love to be nourished? Instead they are treated very bad and they are going to end up in the streets or jail. God gave each leader a responsibilities and they took an oath in front of God.

Your Holiness Pope Tawadros II, the Coptic Orthodox church congregations in California have been suffering for the past 20 years and has been caused to sin due to Bishop Serapion leadership. Some people have left the Coptic Orthodox Church and became Catholic, Protestant etc. Some are afraid to speak up not out of respect but because they fear the consequences and retaliation against them. I have confidence that God will reveal the truth to you soon and I hope that you make the time to look into this and talk to the congregations, priests, servants and children. I pray that you take the necessary action to improve the current situation. Perhaps allowing them to go through series of leadership classess prior to taking on such a humble role. I truly believe that there are many great bishop that practice all of the things that Bishop Serapion lacks. Please forgive me for I have sinned.

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