The newly appointed head of the Coptic Catholic Eparchy in Minya in Egypt stated that the upcoming meeting between Pope Francis and Coptic Orthodox Patriarch Tawadros II in May “could have important and positive results.”
In an interview with Fides News Agency, Coptic Catholic Bishop Botros Fahim Awad Hanna also express is hope that a theological dialogue to begin the path towards full communion would resume. The meeting between the Holy Father and the Coptic Patriarch is set for May 11th, 2013
The last meeting that occurred between a Coptic Patriarch and a Pope took place nearly 40 years ago when Shenouda III met with Pope Paul VI in Rome. Due to that historical meeting, an agreement between the two Churches signed in 1988 put an end to centuries of misunderstanding and mistrust. The
“In the Common Christological Declaration, the Catholic Church and the Coptic Orthodox confess to share the same faith in "Our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Word" that "is perfect in its Divinity and perfect in its Humanity."
“Since then, though, that common Christological Declaration has not had practical effects,” Bishop Fahim Hann said.
“I hope that with the visit of the new Coptic Orthodox Patriarch to the new Bishop of Rome, recent approaches on the spiritual and pastoral can be deepened at a theological and doctrinal level and provide a chance to re-start a thorough theological and respectful dialogue, to embark on a journey that could one day lead us back to full sacramental union".