04/05/2013, 00.00
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Coptic Orthodox patriarch to visit Pope Francis

The date has not yet been confirmed, but Tawadros II himself said it would take place "soon". The last visit to Rome by the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church dates back to 1973.

Cairo (AsiaNews Agencies) - Tawadros II, patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church, will "soon" visit Pope Francis. The patriarch himself confirmed the news at the end of a recent meeting with Archbishop Jean-Paul Gobel, who was appointed in January as the new apostolic nuncio to Egypt. Cooperation and dialogue between the Orthodox and Catholic Churches in the Middle East will be the main topic of the meeting.

In his telegram to Pope Francis, following the latter's election on 13 March, the head of the Coptic Church said, "News of your election as head of the Catholic Church fills my heart with joy. I congratulate you and the cardinals wholeheartedly for this blessed choice.

Patriarch Tawadros II's visit to Rome will be the first by a Coptic Orthodox patriarch to a Latin pope in 40 years. The last time was in May 1973 when Pope Paul VI and Coptic Pope Shenouda III met in Rome and signed a common Christological declaration.


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