Thanks to one of our readers we were able to get a translation of the Holy Synod’s decisions against Atef Aziz and his followers:
We were able to find a translated version of the Holy Synod’s decisions against Atef Aziz and his followers. It reads as follows:
Resolutions of the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church During the Era of Pope Shenouda III (117)
Session dated on 01 June 1996,
The Holy Synod demanded precautions to be taken against Atef Aziz and his group, and for the group not to be permitted to teach.
Session dated 22 June 2002,
Faults of Atef Aziz and his group were read, as follows:
First, this is a private anti-church group falls under a single leader; Dr. Atef Aziz Mikhail, who gets offered the full loyalty and submission, after God, from the rest of the group members.
Second, this group works in complete secrecy following the style of cluster cells; as Dr. Atef trains a group of leaders, and then each leader would train a private group of disciples.
Third, this group plans to spread all over and within the Coptic Orthodox Church in the shape of groups, such as the groups of Al Faggalah, Al Zamalek, Masr Al Gadeedah, Ezbat Al Nakhl, and Shobra, and they consider their main territory to be
In Asyout. The group conducts activities in Manfalot, Al Minya as well other area and they allocate provinces of Egypt to group leaders.
Fourth, Dr. Atef believes that he is tasked with a very special call from God for renewing the Church. Some members of the group agree and they consider themselves to be the true church of Jesus and the church of the New Testament which shall replace the current ruined, dead, desolating Church along with its corrupt shepherds. Therefore, they shall link the current generation with the age of our Christian Fathers of the fourth century, because the current church had stepped away from the ideological and spiritual path of the early fathers.
Fifth, According to their records and books, a clear spirit of pride can be observed which had struck the group, as shown in their messages where the group alleged that it was sent to them from the Holy Spirit via visions, speaking in different tongues (languages) or through direct speeches.
Sixth, the group’s approach is characterized by passion and emotions as they repeat certain slogans many times and very passionately; such as “The power of the blood of Jesus sets us free”.
Seventh, the group focuses on the presence of Satan and its control over vacant places, and they believe that the Holy Spirit had given them special formula of prayers to be recited on water and sprayed at their gathering sites. In addition, the group also believes that the Satan goes out of their chests while coughing during prayers.
Eighth, an unreal language was indicated in their audio recordings as they alleged to be an evidence of speaking in tongues and it was also indicated in handwritten notes. Group members had implemented such practices alleging that they were granted special talents and heavenly messages. Dr. Atef believes that the talent of speaking in tongues cannot discontinue in the church.
Ninth, Dr. Atef alleged in audio recordings that the Holy Spirit spoke to him.
Tenth, Dr. Atef Aziz and his group apply deception methods, as upon their arrival from Asyout, they have not abided by the written pledges they submit to the committee of the Holy Synod formed according to the request of Pope Shenouda III, during which Atef Aziz and his group pledged to abide by the teaching of the church, and refrain from the Pentecostal doctrine. Nonetheless, they show certain behavior and act defiantly, then lie to cover for their undisclosed activities or their improper purposes.
Eleventh, the group has not benefited from the given chances, warnings, or disciplinary actions issued by the church, however they remained on their path and started to disseminate their publications to the congregation for the purpose of toppling the official Church and establishing their private church.
It became dangerous to ignore such group while they deceive young men and women, and consecrate some of them without asking for the permission of the church, as a preliminary step to form a defected sect while utilizing Priest Safnia as a church cover for their subversive activity which deviates from the true Orthodox dogma.
The Holy Synod accepted the recommendations of the Committee of Faith, Education, and Legislation and issued a verdict, was published in Al Kirazah magazine, to prohibit this group and all their followers from serving, teaching, and partaking in the Church Communion and all Holy Sacraments, and for Father Safnia to be stripped of his monasticism and priesthood, for his to return to using his original name of Medhat Kamel Fahmy and to be banned from the Priestly ministry and all types of service in Cairo, Alexandria, and all Dioceses which fall under the Episcopate of St. Mark. Furthermore, for all this
To be published in a public newspaper. This verdict is also considered to be a decision to abstract Dr. Atef forms his diaconal rank of Agnestts in addition to the rest of his group to include diaconal and consecration ranks.
Below are names of some activists within the group of Atef Aziz:
1. Nabil Adly Kamel
2. Engineer Salah Fayik Matta
3. Miranda Kamel Fahmy (Formerly Tasoni Anastasia)
4. Jalina Labib Ramzy (Formerly a Tasoni)
5. Samia Sadek Abadeer (Formerly a Tasoni)
6. Awatef Adeeb Elias (Formerly Tasoni Kristina)
7. Ezis Refky
8. Suzi Kamel Habeesh
9. Sawsan Sad
10. Manal William
11. Hala William
The Holy Synod also accepted the recommendations of the Committee of Faith, Education, and Legislation and issued a signed statement by His Holiness Pope Shenouda III to all Priests of Cairo, Alexandria, and all Doicese to warning against Atef Aziz and his group.
The decision of the Holy Synod and the published statement of the Holy Synod at Al Kirazah magazine are going to be published on the issue which will be published right after the Pentecost Holiday. The statement comprises that the group of Atef Aziz alleges the possession of superior talents such as speaking in tongues, receiving visions, where they see themselves as Patriarchs as well as the priesthood of women in addition to the above summary of mistakes as indicated in the report of the Synodic Committee of Faith, Education, and Legislation.
The Holy Synod had added to the verdict that the “Gates of repentance are open to those who depart this group and its beliefs.