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A blindfolded child's weighty task: Pick a new pope

Mohammed Abu Zeid / AP

Young boys wait anxiously to hear which one of them will be selected to choose the new pope of Egypt's ancient Coptic Christian church, in Cairo on Nov. 3, 2012.

Nasser Nasser / AP

A blindfolded boy draws the name of the next pope from a crystal chalice next to acting Coptic Pope Pachomios, center, during the papal election ceremony at the Coptic Cathedral in Cairo on Nov. 4, 2012.

The Associated Press reports from Cairo — A blindfolded child reached into a crystal chalice and pulled out a slip of paper — and Egypt's Coptic Christians had a new pope.

The colorful but solemn ceremony at the Cairo cathedral of the troubled minority reflected none of the tensions outside. It was the end of a complicated process that began when the church's charismatic leader for four decades, Pope Shenouda III, died in March at the age of 88.

Roger Anis / AP

Egyptian Copts crowded into the cathedral for the papal election ceremony on Nov. 4, 2012.

At the Coptic Cathedral, there was a moment of silence. Then a boy, himself chosen by lottery, his face covered by a dark blue cloth decorated with religious images, was led to the chalice. Copts believe that his hand would be guided by God. He reached into the vessel and pulled out the name of Bishop Tawadros, who will be the next spiritual leader of the Copts.

Read more about how the new Coptic pope was selected.

Nasser Nasser / AP

Acting Pope Pachomios, center, displays the name of 60-year-old Bishop Tawadros, soon to be Pope Tawadros II, while another clergyman displays the names of the remaining two candidates, Bishop Raphael and Father Raphael Ava Mina, during the papal election ceremony on Nov. 4, 2012.

Khaled Elfiqi / EPA

Bishoy Gerges waves to the audience after he picked out the name of Bishop Tawadros from a glass urn on Nov. 4, 2012.

Roger Anis / El Shorouk via AP

Bishop Tawadros, 60, soon to be Pope Tawadros II, greets well-wishers, not shown, after being named the 118th Coptic Pope on Nov. 4, 2012.

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