Coptic Pope joins Pope Francis at Weekly General Audience to mark the 50th anniversary of their two churches’ Christological agreement.
Pope Tawadros II, Coptic Orthodox Church head, met with Pope Francis during his Wednesday General Audience at St. Peter’s Square. This mark the fiftieth year since the first meeting between a Roman pope and a Coptic pope. Their respective predecessors, Shenouda III and Paul VI initiated the meeting in 1973.
The two Popes exchanged greetings and further addressed the multitudes gathered in St. Peter’s Square. “Beloved brothers, His Holiness Pope Francis,” Pope Tawadros said. “Christ is risen, He is truly risen.”
He recalled his last visit to Vatican. “I look at this place and I go back in my memory to ten years ago, on this same date,” Pope Tawadros said. “And I remember your dear affection in welcoming me, together with the delegation of the Coptic Church,” he added.
He remembered also his suggestion on May 10, 2013, that the date be celebrated yearly as a ‘Day of Coptic-Catholic Friendship’. He disclosed he and Pope Francis speak on phone every May 10. Pope Tawadros conclusively expressed gratitude for Pope Francis’s visit to Egypt in 2017.
“Despite the differences in our roots and affiliations, we are united by the love of Christ who dwells within us, and the host of our Apostolic Fathers and saints which surrounds and guides us, ”he added.
Pope Francis concluded the address by speaking to the Coptic Pope and the gathered faithful. He thanked the Coptic Pope for “commitment to the growing friendship between the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church.”
Addressing the faithful he said, “Together with you, I implore Almighty God, that, through the intercession of the saints and martyrs of the Coptic Church, He might help us to grow in communion.”