The Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt met with Pope Francis at the Vatican and spoke about the urgent need for unity among Christians in the Middle East. “We must prepare our people for this very real and needed unity that we know and live, we must work quickly and seriously,” said Pope Tawadros II in May 10 remarks provided to EWTN News by his office.
His visit to the Vatican is significant because he leads Egypt’s largest Christian Church with ten million members, as well as historic, since the May 9-13 trip is the first to Rome in 40 years.
“So we hope our brothers will not help us with money, but with solidarity and that they take our message out to their governments to feel all Christians worldwide are one heart,” he added.
Pope Tawadros prayed with Pope Francis for about 20 minutes after their 15-minute meeting in the Clementine Hall at the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace.
“The most important aim for both the Catholic and Coptic Churches is the promotion of ecumenical dialogue in order to get to the most pursued goal, unity,” Pope Tawadros said in his remarks to Pope Francis. He said he wished “the excellent relationships between the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Catholic may become stronger and more prosperous.”
Pope Tawadros also invited Pope Francis to visit Egypt and suggested that from today forward the two Churches should observe May 10 as “a celebration of brotherly love between the Catholic Church and the Coptic Orthodox Church.”
“Let me assure you that your efforts to build communion among believers in Christ, and your lively interest in the future of your country and the role of the Christian communities within the Egyptian society find a deep echo in the heart of the Successor of Peter and of the entire Catholic community,” he added.