3 Pope Joseph II of Alexandria

Pope Joseph II of Alexandria

Pope Joseph II of Alexandria, known in Coptic as Yusab II was the Coptic Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark (1946 – 1956).

The Pope

He was the Metropolitan of Girga before becoming the Pope and he is the third Bishop / Metropolitan to become a Pope after Popes John XIX (1928-1942) and Macarius III (1942-1944) [ History of the Coptic Church, Iris Habib Elmasry Volume five. ] .

The Seat of the Pope in Cairo during his papacy remained in the Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Azbakeya, Cairo.


He is revered in Ethiopia for having appointed the first Ethiopian born metropolitan Archbishop for the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church, and granting that church full autocephaly. His deposition by the Coptic Synod was not accepted by the Ethiopian Church, and the name of Pope Joseph II was still raised in church services in Ethiopia as Patriarch long after he was removed from office.


During Pope Yosab II's papacy the Institute of Coptic Studies was founded in 1954. [ [http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2007/829/cu2.htm AlAhram weekly article on Isaac Fanous] ] by the Coptic Orthodox Church and based in Cairo.

Between the years 1950 – 1952 A.D., in the time of Pope Yosab II, the building of Saint Mark's Church in Alexandria was pulled down – as it was old – and another bigger building was built with reinforced concrete after the basilique style. The six marble pillars were transferred into the outer entrance of the church. The icon carrier was accurately cut into parts, each part given a number, and then it was cautiously returned to where it was originally. The two minarets were not pulled down as they were reinforced with concrete and were decorated with beautiful Coptic engravings. Two new bells – brought from Italy – were provided one for each minaret. [ [http://www.elmorkosia.net/church/history.html SAINT-MARK Coptic Orthodox Church - Alexandria - EGYPT ] ]

Removal from office

Pope Yousab II was faced by allegations of corruption due to his support of his secretary and in 1954 after long disagreement over this matter with the Church's Synod and the General Congregation Council Pope Yousab II was removed from office via mutual decision from the synod and council. He retired to one of the monasteries and in his last days he was transferred to the Coptic Hospital in Azbakeya , Cairo.

The church was managed by a committee formed of three of the Metropolitans and one of them was Metropolitan Mikhail of Assiut.

The throne was vacant till 1959 when Pope Cyril VI was chosen.


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