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17811Coptic Orthodox leader to meet Pope Francis in May

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    Apr 25, 2013

      Coptic Orthodox leader to meet Pope Francis in May
      April 24, 2013

      VATICAN CITY: The Coptic Patriarch of Alexandria Tawadros II will meet
      Pope Francis next month in the Vatican -- the first visit by a Coptic
      Orthodox leader in 40 years and the latest signs of growing ties between
      the new pope and the Orthodox world.

      Tawadros will visit various Vatican departments and is set to stay in
      Rome for several days. His arrival is expected for May 10 or 11, Vatican
      spokesman Federico Lombardi told AFP.

      Tawadros' predecessor Shenouda III met with pope Paul VI in 1973 and the
      two launched a process of dialogue between their two Christian churches.

      "The idea is to celebrate the 40th anniversary of that historic
      meeting," Lombardi said.

      The visit will be part of a European tour during which Tawadros will
      visit different Coptic parishes -- his first foreign trip since his
      election in November at a time in which the Coptic minority is faced
      with rising Islamism in Egypt.

      The meeting between Tawadros and Francis will be a further step in
      greater dialogue between Catholics and Orthodox, after the patriarch of
      Constantinople, Bartholomew, became the first spiritual leader of the
      world's Orthodox to attend a papal inauguration of Francis in March.

      Another sign of rapprochement is the fact that Tawadros last month
      attended the inauguration of the new Coptic Catholic patriarch, Ibrahim
      Sidrak, an unprecedented gesture.

      Read more:
      (The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)