Is Dr. Atef Aziz, Dr. Atef Meshreky, Fr. Seraphim, Fr. Macarius the same person?
Yes. Dr. Atef Aziz was the common name used in Egypt. Then Dr. Atef Mikhail was used briefly. In the US the name Atef Meshreky is on the books, and on official documents in both the US and other countries. When joined the Orthodox Church in America [OCA] the name Fr. Seraphim was claimed. Then when tonsured as a Stavrophore on March 22nd, 2016, the name Fr. Macarius was given.
Was Dr. Atef Aziz a monk in the Coptic Church?
No. There's no reference to him being a monk in the Coptic Church. In the excommunication decree (2002) he was stripped off the rank of (αναγνώστης) which is a "reader" sub-deacon rank. It is regularly mentioned that he was a "consecrated" servant. The consecration is not a clergy rank.
What's the timeline for Dr. Atef Aziz Meshreky's discipleship?
Here's an approximate timeline:
- 1970: In Asyut, upper Egypt. Dr. Meshreky says that he discovered God and shifted his focus to the Bible sometime during his medical school years. Although he studied medicine, there's no mention that he actually practiced medicine anytime anywhere. In one of his writings, he claims that his "consecration" started in 1970.
- 1970s: Dr. Meshreky builds a following of other deacons, servants, and congregation in Asyut. Goes on unOrthodox practices and retreats. Claims he has a special calling from God.
- 1985: The Late Bishop Mikhail of Asyut, after attempts to recover Atef, prohibits him from serving within the diocese. Atef and his disciples move to Cairo, Egypt. They declare repentance to Late Pope Shenouda III. As they promise to stop the practices and retreats, they get assigned each pair to a church or convent.
- 1990s: Atef claims a couple of multi-year solitary retreats, where Jesus and the Holy Spirit showed and guided him to many things. Including the prayer of the Blood of Jesus over members of the body. which becomes the discipleship's daily prayer, and subject of his book "Prayers and Prophesying".
- 1996: During their years in and around Cairo, the Superiors find that closed group practices, congregation, and retreats continue, with covers of deception and lying. Also massive records discovered. After investigation, the Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church decrees prohibiting the group from teaching.
- 2002: As the discipleship continues on its practices, having established their own "spiritual guide" hierarchy, regional leaderships, their own "consecration"; and centers in Cairo metro area, the Synod assigns a committee to investigate, and attempt to regain them to repentance. After they refuse to repent due to their "special calling", the Synod decrees excommunication of Atef Aziz, and some of his disciples.
- 2005: Atef Aziz attempts to establish a "center" in Wadi ElNatrun area in Egypt. But like his other attempts, it fails after about a year.
- 2000s: Dr. Meshreky is looking for a "home". He goes on several affiliations and "missions" such as with YWAM, "other churches in UK", Jahu church in Switzerland, and others.
- 2011: Starting exodus from Egypt! Dr. Meshreky and some of the excommunicated and other disciples headed to the US. Some with the help of Hegomen Bishoy Andrawes under cover. Others went to Europe.
- 2010s: "Global conferences" in UK, and Israel. Speaking assignments in S. Korea. Six books. Several retreats, some under cover for recruitment of youth.
- 2015: He is claiming to be Fr. Seraphim, dressed as Eastern monk. Although no record of him being tonsured in any Church, including the OCA.
- 2016: Although warned by the Coptic Church, with history given, OCA ArchBishop Benjamin tonsures Atef and accepts 12 of his "disciples" into the OCA. A few months later, a "global" conference in S. Korea.
- 2017: The discipleship grows a bit, with new recruits by Hegomen Bishoy Andrawes. Later in the year, one more book based on the S. Korea conference.
Why Dr. Meshreky and his disciples were excommunicated?
They started in Asyut, upper Egypt around 1980. When Bishop Mikhail found out about their deviating prayer practices, prophesies, and forming a closed group, he expelled them from serving in the diocese. They went to Pope Shenouda and vowed to repent. He distributed them to several churches within his jurisdiction. Years later found out they're lying, forming closed groups, etc. Accordingly the Synod decreed barring them from teaching in 1996. When they did continue, the Synod formed a committee to investigate. They refused to repent. So the Synod excommunicated Dr. Atef, a monk priest, and 11 of his "consecrated" in 2002.
We have copies of several of the relevant documentation, and verified and interviewed many of the then overseers and the investigators. Contact us if needing more detail. See also this video of Pope Shenouda in 2002, with English subtitles.
Did Pope Tawadros attempt to reverse or lift the excommunication of Dr. Meshreky?
One of several lies propagated by Dr. Meshreky's disciples. Such as in ex-priest Bishoy Andrawes "Letter to spiritual children" of January 2016 he claims: "Pope Tawadros himself attempted to restore this excommunication of Dr. Atef Aziz, but some of the bishops stood in his way".
Actually, soon after the claim was made, HH Pope Tawadros confirmed the excommunication in HH communication and decrees, and emphasized by republishing the Holy Synod's decree in the official publication Al-Keraza dated March 11, 2016.
Is Dr. Meshreky affiliated with non-Orthodox organizations?
Yes. Dr. Meshreky's established organizations, conferences, and lectures are affiliated with: YWAM, "other churches in UK", Jahu church in Switzerland, TJCII members Ben & Reuven Berger, Messianic "Kehilat ha’she al Har Zion" ["Congregation of the Lamb on Mount Zion"] in Israel, and non-Orthodox pastors Gabriel Alonso-Martinez, and Pastor Samuel Lee (Deuk Jin Lee). Dr. Meshreky's organizations and teachings are self-declared multi-denominational. Please email us if you want more specifics on his affiliations and co- activities.
Is there clergy followers and disciples to Dr. Meshreky in the Coptic Church?
Yes. Contact us if you need details.
What are the beliefs and teachings of Fr. Macarius [Dr. Atef Aziz Meshreky?
His doctrine is summed up on the home page. Some of his books are mentioned on the "Book Reviews" section. Recordings of his media and writings are available on several Internet sites. But some were removed or hidden from public at different times.
Please contact us if you are searching for something specific or need further information.
Why Dr. Meshreky has chosen the OCA?
Fr. Macarius teachings repeatedly point to the decline and corruption of the Church after the 4th century. believing that they (the discipleship) are the new Church for the 2nd coming since "the Church has lost its authority and message". Through new anointing, and a prophet preparing for the 2nd coming, analogous to John the Baptist for the 1st coming of Christ. There's no reason for them to believe that the OCA is an exception.
It is not a choice. Dr. Meshreky is benefiting from the "Eastern Orthodox monk" label on his books and teachings, even before being tonsured in OCA. No other Orthodox Church accepted him and his disciples, and as an already active group, and none would.
The "disciples" have made it clear that they would not assimilate into the OCA, and if they leave the OCA, they will leave as a group and continue together. Indicating loyalty to the cult rather than to a Church.
Dr. Meshreky always indicates that he has a calling from God, commissioned by God, entrusted with the generation, guided by the Lord and the Holy Spirit. Which makes him above any Church hierarchy, and above questioning. He has been consistent about that for over 45 years. The discipleship worldwide has its own hierarchy of "spiritual guides", and minimizes the clergy role to only serving communion and taking "common" confession.
Why and how the OCA is accepting a heretic group?
How is the OCA allowing such teaching and practices?
We do not have a credible answer from the OCA. The facts are:
- The OCA has accepted Dr. Meshreky and 12 of his disciples as "an independent group", not as repentant individuals!
- The OCA has been warned and communicated by the Coptic Orthodox Church before the tonsuring.
- OCA leadership is quite aware of Dr. Meshreky's recordings, teachings, various organizations, and books.
- Dr. Meshreky, his lieutenants, and disciples continue their activity in full autonomy of the OCA. They continue to recruit from other Orthodox Churches and other communities.
We are unaware of any spiritual explanation for the choice to now headquarter in Phoenix, AZ. He has no explanation on the records for it.
But there are obvious "earthly" reasons for the "discipleship" choices of current locations, and family reasons for Arizona, not mentioned here to protect privacy.
How many followers of Dr. Meshreky are out there?
Sometimes we receive questions about Dr. Meshreky's disciples, supporters, and their geographical distribution. Please contact us if such info is important to you.
Did clergy call the police for relatives and families of disciples or recruits?
Police call information can be obtained from the Sheriff department under the "Freedom of Information Act". On several occasions Hegomen Bishoy Andrawes did call the police for family members of "disciples" and recruits looking for their whereabouts. There is also an occasion where an OCA priest threatened a mom that he may call the police for her.
We could not find a reasoning in the discipleship doctrine for the repetitive dependency on police services, spiritual, Biblical, or otherwise.
Please contact us if such info is important to you.