10-April-2006 -- Catholic World News Brief |

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POPE, NEW COPTIC PATRIARCH CONFIRM FULL COMMUNION

Apr. 10 (CWNews.com) - Pope Benedict XVI has confirmed the full ecclesiastical communion between the Holy See and the new Coptic Catholic Patriarch, Antonios Naguib.

Following the tradition of the Eastern churches, after his election by the Coptic Synod on March 30, the new Patriarch of Alexandria, requesting full communion. With Pope Benedict's positive response, the ties between Coptic Catholic Church and the Holy See are confirmed. Pope Benedict and Patriarch Antonios are expected to share Eucharistic communion with a ceremony in Rome in the future.

In his message to the Egyptian prelate, Pope Benedict said that he had received the news of the Coptic patriarch's election "with great joy," and extended ecclesiastical communion "with all my heart." The Pope promised his prayers for the new Coptic leader, saying that he was confident that Patriarch Antonios will "guide the Coptic Catholic Church with wisdom and prudence along with the patriarchal Synod fathers, our brothers in the episocopate."

The new Coptic Patriarch succeeds Cardinal Stephanos II Ghattas, who resigned because of age after leading the Coptic Church for 20 years.

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