Egypt prosecutors order ex-monk detained over abbot death


CAIRO — Egyptian prosecutors have ordered a recently defrocked monk to be detained for four days pending an investigation into his possible involvement in the death of the abbot of a prominent monastery in the desert northwest of Cairo.

Saturday’s decision, reported by state-run MENA news agency, says the defrocked monk, identified by his monastic name of Isaiah, confessed to killing Bishop Epiphanius, abbot of St. Macarius Monastery, in late July.

Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church stripped Isaiah of his monkhood after the incident but dismissed his connection to Epiphanius’ death, saying the decision was made based on “strictly monastic reasons.”

Following the abbot’s death, the Church said it would not accept new novices in monasteries nationwide for a year.

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