Pope Tawadros II was born Waǧīh Ṣubḥī Bāqī Sulaymān (وجيه صبحى باقى سليمان) on 4 November 1952 (25 Paopi 1668) in the city of Mansoura in Egypt.
He studied at the University of Alexandria, where he received a degree in pharmacy in 1975.
After a few years of managing a state-owned pharmaceutical factory, he joined the Monastery of Saint Pishoy in Wadi Natrun to study theology for two years.
He was ordained a priest in 1989 (1705-1706).
On 15 June 1997 he was consecrated as a general bishop by Pope Shenouda III in the name Theodoros (Tawadros).
He was assigned to serve in the Eparchy of Behira in north Egypt.
The papal selection process began several weeks before the 4 November selection. About 2,400 clergymen and others shortlisted three candidates: Bishop Tawadros, Bishop Raphael, a former aide to the previous Pope, Pope Shenouda III, and Father Raphael Ava Mina, a monk in a monastery near Alexandria, and the disciple of the 116th Pope, Pope Cyril VI.
The ceremony to choose the pope from the three consensus candidates was held at Cairo’s St. Mark’s Cathedral at about noon and featured a marked police presence. Prior to the selection, Metropolitan Pachomios, locum tenens of the Church, sealed the chalice with the names with red wax and put it upon the altar as he led Mass.
He then told the congregation: “We will pray that God will choose the good shepherd.” Following a moment of silence, a blindfolded boy then picked Theodoros’s name from the chalice.
The thousands of congregants in attendance then erupted in ovation, tears or prayer. In reaction Theodoros II said, from the monastery at Wadi Natrun: “[We] will start by organising the house from within. It is a responsibility. Most important is…that the church, as an institution, serves the community.
” Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi congratulated Theodoros and called for Egyptian “unity” and “brotherly love” between Copts and Muslims.
Pope Tawadros II started his papacy amid multiple changes in Egypt. He said that the Orthodox Church is committed to keeping Article 2 of Egypt’s draft constitution intact, as it was in the old constitution and ended supporting the withdrawal of the Egyptian churches from Egypt’s Constituent Assembly despite efforts by the presidency to convince them to return.
There has been some changes in the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church by appointing Bishop Raphael who came first in the election stage of Pope selection as the general secretary of the synod.