Later Father Mina conducted a campaign against himself like St Ephraim.
On April 17, 1959 the nominees were narrowed down to three monks, Fr. Demian, Fr Angelos, and Fr. Mina.
On Sunday, April 19, 1959 the Deputy Patriarch offered the Papal Election Liturgy, which was attended by high dignitaries of the country, including the late President Anwar Sadat, ambassadors and high-ranking delegates of other churches in the world. At the end of the Liturgy, a young deacon was appointed to draw one of the nominations from their container placed on the altar. He pulled out the nomination that has the name of Father Mina, a humble monk of St Demiana Monastery.
While this was going on Fr. Mina was celebrating his Sunday Liturgy at St. Mina’s Monastery in Cairo. The news of his divine election was broadcast all over the radio stations in Egypt, and it came to the attention of the participants of Fr. Mina’s Liturgy. Bells of all the Churches rang all over Egypt, but Fr. Mina refused to allow his beloved people to ring the bell of St. Mina’s Monastery Church. You should know what Fr. Mina did when he heard about it. He went up to the sanctuary and cried. The people forced him out of the sanctuary. He came out and addressed his people: “Glory be to God. The Lord has chosen to demonstrate His power and glory through my weakness. I tremble with fear in the glory of Your power. … From You we receive power and help, O our Lord and Redeemer.”
Here are some things that I believe Indian Orthodox Christians need to be asking as they choose their leaders.
1. It is now so much how this individual “came over” in a short exposure to the people, but whether this person’s record is of someone who not only is able to lead, but is able to lead through perillous waters in difficult times. What has been their record as a pastor, evangelist, missionary, leader? Whatever the future configuration of the church, these years ahead are going to be extraordinarily difficult, and will require a leader who is firm but flexible when it comes to guiding a group of congregations through rough seas.
2. We need to be asking whether any of these individuals understand what is going on in the culture, where the culture is leading us, and what the impact will be upon the churches. The 21st Century is profoundly different in almost every way from the 20th, and the church that does not understand this is in deep trouble. If we are looking for someone who will try to maintain the institution in its present form then we are already digging the grave into which most of just about any diocese will very quickly be dropped.
3. Choosing a bishop is a theological act, so we want to know what a person believes, what their relationship to God is through Jesus Christ, whether they are able to be the chief missionary of the diocese. When you are part of a church like ours that tends to defer to the culture rather than Scriptures and Christian tradition in shaping its values, this is a major, major set of questions that need to be asked. Failing to do so is a great danger.
4. Furthermore, we need to be asking if this individual has a vision for the future. Vision is a key component to leadership, for as Scripture says, without a vision the people perish. We have been prone in the church to elect managers and administrators, who at times make compromises, and the result is that we have not had the kind of leadership that will take us to the places where God might want us to go.
5. While a person’s charm, wit, and social abilities are important, they ought not to be at the top of the list. Some of the greatest bishops in history would not have been the life and soul of a cocktail party — indeed, a good number of those who do have such skills have been disasters. The election of bishops must not be a popularity contest.
6. While managerial and administrative skills ought not at the top of the list, it helps if someone knows themselves well enough that in leading they are able to guide an entity forward and fill the gaps in their own skill mix. We have to elect people who have a mix of administrative skills, management and above all the humility to serve.
7. A bishop should be someone with staying power. The stress of the office is so great these days. A bishop is someone who is involved in the leadership of a spiritual conflict, and therefore needs to be spiritually, physically, emotionally, up to the task.