Blindfolded Boy Chooses Next Egyptian Pope

dateline: 06 November 2012

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • pope: the head patriarch of some churches
  • altar boy: a boy who assists a minister or priest during a service
  • draft: a method of selecting someone from a group of people
  • chalice: a large cuplike bowl; often used to hold wine in a church
  • papal candidate: a person who could become the pope
  • discrimination: unfair treatment due to race, religion, gender, etc.

Blindfolded Boy Chooses Next Egyptian Pope

At a ceremony in a cathedral in Cairo, a young altar boy chose the new Coptic pope for Egypt’s biggest community. The boy, who was selected in a draft, was blindfolded before choosing one of three balls in a chalice. Each ball held the name of a papal candidate who had been voted in by leading members of the church. The ritual has been passed down from ancient times in a church that is highly . Coptic Christians believe that this ritual allows for the hand of God to be present in the final selection process. Many Christians in Egypt hope that the new pope, Tawadros II, will be able to reduce religious discrimination in .

Comprehension Questions

  1. Who is the boy in the report?
  2. What was in the balls?
  3. What do Coptic Christians in Egypt hope the new Pope will be able to do?

Discussion Question: Christians in Egypt fear that the country’s new leadership is going to allow Islamic law to play a greater role in new legislation. How do religion and politics mix in your country?

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Written by Tara Benwell for EnglishClub
Tara Benwell is a Canadian freelance writer and editor who specializes in materials and articles for the ELT industry.