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Head of Coptic Orthodox Church to visit Pope Francis

Catholic World News - April 04, 2013

Pope Tawadros (Theodoros) II of Alexandria, who was elected head of the Coptic Orthodox Church in November, has announced that he will soon visit Pope Francis in Rome. The announcement followed an April 3 meeting with Archbishop Jean-Paul Gobel, who was appointed apostolic nuncio to Egypt in January.

The Coptic Orthodox Church is not one of the Eastern Orthodox churches; rather, it is an Oriental Orthodox church that ceased to be in full communion with the Holy See following the Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon in 451. Pope Tawadros’s visit to Rome will be the first by a Coptic Orthodox pope since May 1973, when Pope Paul VI and Coptic Pope Shenouda III signed a common Christological declaration.

The Coptic Orthodox Church has nine million members, most of them in Egypt.

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