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July, 2019
Volume 45, Number 2
5 November 2012
J.D. Conor Mauro

In this 2004 image, Bishop Tawadros speaks to children in his museum of Christianity in El-Karma Center, King Mariout, Alexandria. (photo: Sean Sprague)

Since the passing of Pope Shenouda III in March, the question of succession has commanded much of the attention of the Coptic Orthodox Church. As reported in today’s Page One post, the long period of uncertainty has finally reached an end. The election process is complete, and as of 18 November, Pope Tawadros II will be installed as the new patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa.

Upon hearing the news, Pope Benedict XVI sent a message of expressing his congratulations and high hopes:

I was filled with joy on learning of your election as pope of Alexandria and patriarch of the See of Saint Mark, and I gladly extend to you and to the clergy and faithful of the Coptic Orthodox Church my good wishes and prayerful solidarity, asking the Lord to pour out his abundant blessings upon the lofty ministry you are about to assume. I am confident that, like your renowned predecessor Pope Shenouda III, you will be a genuine spiritual father for your people and an effective partner with all your fellow-citizens in building the new Egypt in peace and harmony, serving the common good and the good of the entire Middle East. In these challenging times it is important for all Christians to bear witness to the love and fellowship that binds them together, mindful of the prayer offered by our Lord at the Last Supper: that all may be one, so that the world may believe (cf. Jn 17:21).

To read the full statement, visit the Vatican Radio site. To read about some of the fine work Pope Tawadros II pursued as bishop, check out Sean Sprague’s Oasis of Hope, from the April 2004 issue of ONE.

Tags: Pope Benedict XVI Patriarchs Coptic Orthodox Church Egypt's Christians Egypt's Bishops