-- ZENIT.org News Agency
Pope Tawadros II to Meet with Pope Francis
Important Meeting Hopes to Strengthen Ecumenical Dialogue
By Junno Arocho Esteves
VATICAN CITY, May 09, 2013 (Zenit.org) - The head of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt, His Holiness Pope Tawadros II will be in Rome to meet with Pope Francis. The Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark arrives today and will have meet with heads of several dicasteries and local Coptic Christian communities.
With roughly 10 million faithful in the Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt, the importance of the Church in the "ecclesial landscape of the Middle East" makes this visit crucial in strengthening ecumenical dialogue.
According to a communique released by the Holy See Press Office, the last visit of a Coptic Pope occurred 40 years ago in May 1973. Pope Shenouda II met with Pope Paul VI and signed an" an important Christological Declaration in common and initiated bilateral ecumenical dialogue between the two Churches."
With the ever increasing tense political situations in the Middle East, a "growing rapprochement between the Christian communities in Egypt" has been fostered since the election of Pope Tawadros II.
"Pope Tawadros, as well as having an audience and a shared prayer with the Holy Father on Friday, May 10th, will be received at the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and other dicasteries of the Roman Curia. He will visit the tombs of the Apostles Peter and Paul and will meet with the faithful of the Coptic community resident in Rome," the communique stated.
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