The leader of the Coptic Orthodox Church, Tawadros II, has participated today in the general audience, June 19, 2019, in the Plaza de San Pedro, and has warmly greeted Pope Francis at the end of the event.
Theodore II (or Tawadros II) is the 118th Patriarch of Alexandria and the Patriarch of Africa on the Holy Apostolic See of Saint Mark.
On the occasion of the day of friendship between Orthodox Copts and Catholics, the Holy Father Francis sent a message to his holiness, Tawadros II, on May 11, 2017. The day of friendship is a feast of fraternal love between both Churches, an idea proposed by Teodoro II (name in Spanish) to the Catholic pope, with the wish that this date was the first of a long series of encounters.
Welcome in Cairo
“After my visit to Egypt and the blessed meeting with His Holiness in Cairo , on the occasion of the fourth anniversary of our fraternal meeting in Rome on May 10, 2013, I take this opportunity to express my best wishes for peace and health, together with joy and gratitude for the spiritual ties that unite the See of Peter with the See of Mark, “said Francisco.
Similarly, on May 10, 2013, Tawadros II made his first trip as patriarch by visiting Pope Francis in the Vatican City. The meeting was an attempt at a reciprocal rapprochement “towards the full unity” of Christianity.
It is the second time that a Catholic and a Coptic Pope have met since the separation of both churches at the Council of Chalcedon and after the meeting of Popes Shenouda III and Paul VI.
The meeting between Francisco and Tawadros II thus marked a historical milestone, took place 40 years after Paul VI and Shenouda III, which united one and another, said Francisco, “in an embrace of peace and fraternity after centuries of reciprocal estrangement. “