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Important Announcements

Due to the current and ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the proceedings of the council have been disrupted due to travel restrictions and increased local pastoral needs for the council members, as well as the difficulty in holding in-person interviews before the council.
Please expect cases to take much longer processing time than usual.

NEW Online Applications and Payments.

Applicants can now fill their applications ONLINE (see menu above) and make ONLINE payment of application fees. 


The Clerical Council for Family Affairs- Americas District was established by H.H. Pope Tawadros II and the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church in 2015. The Council is the tribunal authorized by the Coptic Orthodox Church to adjudicate applications for remarriage, grant or refuse permissions to remarry, and all related family affairs. The Council was presided by H.E. Metropolitan Serapion of Los Angeles from the year 2015 till 2017, then the Council was presided by H.G. Bishop Karas of the Holy Diocese of Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and West Virginia from the year 2018 till May 2021, Starting June 2021, the council is presided by H.G. Bishop Peter of the Holy Diocese of North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky & it is surrounding areas. The council is comprised of five additional members: Fr. Anthony Basily, Secretary; Fr. Arsanios B. Ragheb; Fr. John Bishara; Fr. John R. Maghruos; and Mr. David W. Badie, Esq. The Council is headquartered at the Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America in Cedar Grove, NJ. Sessions will be held at the Archdiocese and when the need arises, may convene at various regions throughout its jurisdiction.
The Clerical Council for Family Affairs- Americas District has jurisdiction of the first instance over family affair matters in the Archdiocese of America and the Archdiocese of Canada as well as any other areas in North and South America which fall under the direct jurisdiction of His Holiness the Pope of Alexandria. Additionally, the Council has jurisdiction to adjudicate cases appealing decisions of the various diocesan Clerical Councils.

The Jurisdiction of the Clerical Council thus extends to the following:

1. Cases in the Papal Dioceses outside the established Dioceses in North and South America, namely:

  • Diocese of Los Angeles, Southern California, and Hawaii
  • Diocese of Southern United States
  • Diocese of New York and New England
  • Diocese of South Carolina, North Carolina, and Kentucky
  • Diocese of Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and West Virginia
  • Diocese of Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana
  • Diocese of Mississauga, Vancouver, and Western Canada
  • Diocese of Ottawa, Montreal, and Eastern Canada
  • Diocese of Brasil
  • Diocese of Bolivia

2. Cases where there is a diversity of jurisdictions involved, i.e., where one spouse resides in the Archdiocese and the other in one of the established Dioceses.

3. Appeals of Diocesan Clerical Council decisions.

In order to administer the petitions of those seeking the Church’s blessing and permission for remarriage, the Clerical Council for Family Affairs-Americas District has established this website with relevant contact and application information.

The Council seeks to apply the teachings of the Holy Bible and Church Law and to protect the rights and dignity of each person without discrimination and in full confidentiality and professionalism.