18-November-2012 -- Vatican Information Service |

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Benedict XVI Congratulates The New Coptic Orthodox Patriarch

Vatican City, 18 November 2012 (VIS) - His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, recently elected as the one hundred and eighteenth patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church, was enthroned today at St. Mark's Cathedral in Cairo, Egypt. The ceremony was attended by Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, who brought a letter from the Holy Father.

In the text, Benedict XVI expresses his hope that the Almighty may grant "abundant spiritual gifts to strengthen you in your new ministry, as you guide the clergy and laity along the paths of holiness, for the good of your people and the peace and harmony of the whole of society".

The Holy Father mentions Tawadros II's predecessor, Pope Shenouda III, his interest in improving relations with other Christian Churches, and his concern that this might "reinforce our hope that one day all the followers of Christ will find themselves united in that love and reconciliation which the Lord so earnestly desires".

He adds, "I pray that the Holy Spirit will sustain you in your ministry, so that the flock entrusted to your care may experience the teaching of the Good Shepherd. May they be blessed with the serenity to offer their valuable contribution to the good of society and the well-being of all their fellow-citizens".

The Pope concludes, "I pray too that the relations between the Catholic Church and the Coptic Orthodox Church will continue to grow closer, not only in a fraternal spirit of collaboration, but also through a deepening of the theological dialogue that will enable us to grow in communion and to bear witness before the world to the saving truth of the Gospel".

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