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AFRICA/EGYPT - Coptic Orthodox Patriarch Tawadros: I will go to Rome to meet Pope Francis

Cairo - The Coptic Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria, Tawadros II, has expressed his desire to go to Rome to meet Pope Francis. According to Egyptian media sources - such as the daily Al-Masry Al-Youm - the intention was expressed by the head of the largest Christian Church in the Arab world on Wednesday evening, when Pope Tawadros received the visit at the Cathedral of St. Mark of His Exc. Mgr. Jean-Paul Gobel, appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Egypt last January 5. During the meeting between Nuncio Gobel and Pope Tawadros, the intention to make the fraternal cooperation between the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church more and more intense was confirmed. The visit of the Coptic Orthodox Patriarch of the Apostolic See of Rome and its Bishop represent a very important event from an ecumenical point of view. Tawadros's predecessor, Pope Shenouda III, had met Pope Paul VI at the Vatican forty years ago, in May 1973. On that occasion, the Pope and the Coptic Orthodox Patriarch had signed an important common Christological declaration, and had started the bilateral ecumenical dialogue between the two Churches.