Pope Tawadros II on Egypt: Prayer love wisdom

Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Qandil congratulates
Pope Tawadros II on ordination
-Photo courtesy of Mai Shaheen/Ahram Online

Cairo,30 November: Islamists approved a draft constitution for Egypt early on Friday without the participation of liberal and Christian members. The vote by the constituent assembly advanced a charter with an Islamist slant that rights experts say could give Muslim clerics oversight over legislation and bring restrictions on freedom of speech, religion, women's rights and other liberties.

The draft, which the assembly plans to deliver to the president on Saturday, must be put to a nationwide referendum within 30 days.

Vatican Radio’s Olivier Bonnel spoke to the newly installed Orthodox Coptic Pope Tawadros II about the current situation in the country.

He says, “We pray for the unity of all the Egyptians”.

Asked what can be the role of the Coptic Church in this crisis, the Pope responding by saying, “Number one, pray; number two, love in action; number three, we treat with every situation with deep wisdom.”

Source: Vatican Radio


Catholicos offers Rebel Jacobites peace

Delivering the presidential address, Catholicos Baselius Marthoma Paulose II of the East said Malankara Church had to fight for 400 years to protect its rights.
Catholicos of the East His Holiness the Baselius Marthoma
Paulose II delivering his presidential address.
Photo credit: Catholicosate of the East

Kochi, November 26, 2012: His Holiness Mar Baselios Marthoma Paulose II, Catholicos of the Holy See of the East and Malankara Metropolitan, Supreme Head of the Universal Orthodox Syrian Church of the East which includes the Malankara (Indian) Church on Sunday 25th November 2012 extended an olive branch to the Rebel Jacobite Syrian Christian faction (Jacobite Syrian Christian Church-2002) in the church, saying, “There is no reason for those having the same faith and liturgy to stay apart.”
Addressing a mammoth gathering of the faithful at the centenary celebrations of the re-establishment of Catholicate and the 1960th anniversary of the Malankara church at the Marine Drive, here, the pontiff said, “I am all for unity in the Malankara Church. I don’t know why it’s still a far cry, and who all are blocking it.”
“We never wanted quarrels and litigation. We never sought power and possessions, but only justice. We are not seeking any undue privilege or rights, but only what we deserve,” the Catholicos said.
“We want to worship God together as a single body. But who are the ones who violates the agreements that were made? Who prompts us to degenerate the holy tradition of St Thomas?” he said.
The Catholicos said a few evil perpetrators were standing against the unity. “However, our struggle for freedom should not make us bitter or hateful,” he said.
He also urged the members of the Church to restrain from hating oppressors.
Recalling a brief period of unity, Mar Baselios said he had the fortune to taste that unity once and he was longing for it again. “The Supreme Court had ruled in favour of us and what we sought was only what was due for us,” he said, referring to the church case.
He said that the Malankara Church was founded by St. Thomas the Apostle in AD 52 and hence the church was now celebrating the 1960th anniversary together with the centenary of the re-establishment of the Catholicate of the East.
The Catholicos also declared Rs 100 crore-worth of welfare projects at the diocese and parish levels, to mark the centenary of the re-establishment of the Catholicate of the Orthodox Syrian Church.
This included the setting up of the Parumala Gregorious Cancer Centre, various projects for treating heart ailments and kidney diseases, building houses for the poor, extending help for marriage of poor girls, helping farmers caught in debt trap, and implementation of a health insurance project.

Tibetan spiritual leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who inaugurated the celebrations, said India showed the path for peaceful coexistence of various traditions and other countries should follow this model.
He also said that only faith in God would bring inner peace. “Material values and inner values should be combined for a peaceful life. In fact, a healthy mind is vital for physical health as well.”
Former Indian President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, who gave the main address, recalled the contributions of the Christian churches for national causes. He said people should embrace a combination that will unite economic prosperity and the spiritual way of life. He also emphasized the importance of imparting moral values during the early years of education.
The Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who released a souvenir on the occasion of the Catholicate centenary celebration, said the biggest achievement of the Christian Church in India was the adoption of Indian values. It also carried out its social responsibilities well.
A large number of religious, political, church and community leaders—including Indian Union Minister of State for Food and Civil Supplies K V Thomas, Archbishop Mar Aprem, Metropolitan of the Assyrian Church of the East in India, Marthoma church head, Joseph Mar Thoma Metropolitan, Archbishop emeritus of Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, Mar Joseph Powathil, Rev Thomas K Ommen, Church of South India, CPI-M Politburo member Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, BJP state president V Muralidharan, World Council of Churches Asia secretary Dong Sung Kung, National Council of Churches in India general secretary Roger Gaikwad, SNDP Yogam head Vellapally Natesn and mayor Tony Chammany—attended the public meeting. Tens of thousands of Orthodox Church faithful from all over the State showed up.
A huge rally was taken out in the city to mark the centenary.
In view of the huge crowd expected to attend the meeting, the police had announced traffic regulation. However, there were disruptions of traffic on the key roads in the city.
The Catholicate (Catholicosate) was re-established on 15th September 1912 by consecrating Mar Ivanios, the Metropolitan of Kandanad as the first Indian Catholicose of the East with the title Mar Baselios Paulose I. The Catholicate was headquartered in Persia until the end of the 19th century. The Patriarch of Antioch St. Ignatius Abdul Masih II (1895-1915) relocated the Catholicate to India in 1912.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama joins in prayer at the opening of the centenary Celebrations of the re-establishment of the Catholicosate of the East and the 1960th jubilee of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church in Kochi, Kerala, on November 25, 2012. Also seen are Kerala Chief Minister His Excellency Shri Oommen Chandy (1st left), His Holiness Catholicos Baselios Marthoma Paulose II of the East (3rd left) and Former President of India His Excellency Dr APJ Abdul Kalam. —Photo courtesy of Tenzin Choejor/The Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama[OHHDL])

World should follow India’s example: Dalai Lama
India exemplified how different religious faiths and traditions could live in harmony.

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, delivering
 his inaugural address. His Holiness Dalai Lama is both the
head of state and the spiritual leader of Tibet.—Photo courtesy
of Tenzin Choejor/The Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama[OHHDL])
KOCHI (Kerala, India), Nov 25, 2012: Addressing the Centenary celebration of the re-establishment of Catholicosate of the East on Sunday 25th November, His Holiness the Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso, the spiritual leader of Tibet and a global messenger of peace and non-violence, said India is an example for the world because many religious sects co-exist in the country even today. "Spiritually, the country occupies a very important place and its tradition is relevant today. Harmony can be more effective if love and compassion are practised in daily life. Now everyone talks about money, which is important, but one must not forget peace of mind and spirituality," he said
The Dalai Lama said that a fine matching of physical comfort with mental comfort was essential for the well-being of humankind. material comfort led only to physical comfort. But physical comfort alone could not guarantee an individual’s overall comfort. For this, a combination of physical comfort and mental comfort was necessary. The mental comfort would come from spiritual values.
He pointed out that a healthy mind was essential for a health body because a disturbed mind would upset physical health. He emphasised the importance of inner peace.
“We ourselves should create inner peace,” he said. Practice of love and compassion would help create inner peace, which would lead to non-violence. Non-violence was “very, very necessary” in the present world. “First, look into your inner world and create inner peace; then, verbal and physical actions will become non-violent”, he said.


Related Posts:
Orthodox Church of the East celebrates Re-establishment centenary of Catholicate of the East
Catholicos of the East Calls-On Shri Pranab Mukherjee, the President of India


Egypt's President Morsi receives Coptic papal delegation

President Mohamed Morsy welcomed Pope Tawadros II
and several bishops to the presidential palace.
 (Photo courtesy of the presidential office)

Cairo, 21 November 2012: Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi on Wednesday received a delegation of Coptic Church officials who offered him their condolences for the death of his sister on Tuesday.

The church delegation, which was headed by newly ordained Coptic Pope Tawadros II, also thanked Morsi for sending a presidential representative to attend the new pope's ordination ceremony earlier this month.
The meeting was also attended by Vice President Mahmoud Mekki and former presidential chief-of-staff Mohamed Refaa El-Tahtawi.
"President Morsi assured Pope Tawadros II and his delegation that he was responsible for safeguarding the rights of all Egyptians without distinction," a presidential spokesman announced on Wednesday.
The spokesman went on to stress that Morsi was "keen to reach a consensus on Egypt's new constitution."
Also on Wednesday, Parliamentary and Legal Affairs Minister Mohamed Mahsoub visited Tawadros at the papal residence in Cairo's Cathedral of St. Mark to congratulate him on the church's well-organised papal elections.
At the end of the visit, Mahsoub declared that the Coptic Church would remain "part of the homeland and identity of Egypt" regardless of whether its representatives participated in Egypt's Constitutional Assembly, tasked with drafting a new constitution.
Earlier this week, the Coptic Church pulled its representatives from the Constituent Assembly to protest perceived attempts by the assembly's Islamist majority to enshrine Islamic Law in the country's new national charter.

source: Ahram Online
Read more: Daily News Egypt

What came out of the first Holy Synod meeting chaired by Pope Tawadros

22 Nov. 2012


Translated from Christian Dogma

The first ever Holy Synod meeting chaired by Pope Tawadros II took place this morning and lasted several hours. The meeting was attended by 91 bishops. Seven bishops were absent. The Holy Synod will meet every six months.
Bishop Raphael, bishop of churches in central Cairo, and one of the final candidates for Papacy, was appointed secretary of the Holy Synod, a positioned considered to be the second most powerful in the Coptic Church. He will be replacing Bishop Bishoy of Kafr El-Sheikh, Damietta, who has held this position since 1985. Bishop Thomas of Qusiya, Bishop Youssef of the southern United States and Bishop Apollo of South Sinai were all appointed as his secretaries.
Fr Seraphim Al Soriany, one of the final candidates for papacy, was appointed as secretary for affairs of the diaspora. He served in three churches in the United Kingdom for 12 years. These were St George & St Athanasius in Newcastle, St. Mary & St. George in Nottingham as well as one of the churches in Wales.
The church also announced a plan to increase its online presence. A new website is being built for the Cathedral of St Mark. New Facebook and Twitter accounts are being made for His Holiness Pope Tawadros. For the first time in the history of the church, there is a push to use modern technology to facilitate communication to the congregation.
Also, a committee was formed under the leadership of Bishop Pakhomious to rewrite the outdated laws of patriarchal elections which were written in 1957. Bishop Pakhomious acted as the interim pope after the passing of His Holiness Pope Shenouda III till the appointment of His Holiness Pope Tawadros II. The committee will write a preliminary draft of the new law in the next four months. The draft will be sent to all the bishops for study and feedback. Another committee will have four months to study and examine the feedback from bishops. Yet another committee will have four months to write the final draft and present it to the Holy Synod. Once approved by the Holy Synod, it will be submitted to the Egyptian government to be written into law.

Source: Coptic World

Popular Current meets Pope Tawadros II

Both parties stressed the importance of drafting a constitution protecting equality, citizenship and freedom
Hamdeen Sabahi meets with Pope Tawadros II
on Monday, 19 November.
(Photo courtesy of the Popular Current Facebook page)

Fady Salah,Daily News Egypt
Cairo, November 20, 2012: Pope Tawadros II met with a Popular Current delegation headed by founder Hamdeen Sabahi, in addition to several leading figures of the political group.
Tawadros, the 118th pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church, asserted the national role and Arabic loyalty of the Church at the meeting on Monday night. He stressed the Church’s firm stance on the Palestinian issue and the Arab identity of Jerusalem.
The delegation spoke of their appreciation for the national role played by the Egyptian church throughout its long history. They praised the church’s strong relations with Al-Azhar, and thanked it for it’s collective efforts aimed at protecting moderate religious stances in Egypt.
Heba Yassin, media spokesperson of the Popular Current, said that the purpose of the meeting was to greet the pope rather than discuss politics. However, she said that Sabahi asserted the Popular Current’s commitment to achieving the legitimate goals of the 25 January Revolution, i.e. freedom, democracy, social justice and human dignity.
She added that both parties stressed the importance of drafting a constitution protecting equality, citizenship and freedom for the interest of all Egyptians.
Sabahi also attended the enthronement of Pope Tawadros II at St. Mark’s Cahtedral in Al-Abbaseya on Sunday.
The Popular Current is the first political movement to meet Tawadros since his enthronement on 18 November.

source: Daily News Egypt


The Catholicos of Cilicia His Holiness Aram I (left)
meeting with the Pope of Alexandria His Holiness Tawadros II

ANTELIAS (Lebanon), November 27, 2012: On Thursday 22 November 2012 Catholicos Aram I went to Cairo for a one-day visit to congratulate the newly consecrated Pope Tawadros II personally. Archbishops Sebouh Sarkissian, Prelate of the Diocese of Tehran, Nareg Alemehian , Ecumenical officer, and staff-bearer Rev. Mesrob Sarkissian accompanied His Holiness.

Representatives of the Coptic Orthodox Church met His Holiness Aram I at the airport. After meeting with His Holiness the Pope, Catholicos Aram I said that the long-standing relationship and cooperation between the two churches and the Oriental Family should continue with renewed commitment, and the visible unity among all churches in the Middle East should become more explicit.

Pope Tawados II then acknowledged the contribution of His Holiness Aram I to the ecumenical movement and affirmed his commitment to cooperation between the churches of the Oriental Orthodox Family in the Middle East and the ecumenical movement.

The visit ended with a lunch offered by the Coptic Pope in honor of Catholicos Aram I in the presence of the clergy and more than fifty guests.
Source:The Catholicosate of Cilicia

Pope Tawadros II Says He Has Big Responsibilities Towards All Egyptians

Pope Tawadros II receives papal crown from Bishop Pachomios
-Photo courtesy of Mai Shaheen/Ahram Online

Cairo, 18 November 2012: Enthroned Pope Tawadros II stressed on Sunday 18/11/2012 that he has big responsibilities towards all Egyptians, Copts and Muslims, hoping God would help him succeed in his new mission.

Pope Tawadros II, in a word after his inauguration ceremony at Coptic Orthodox Church, promised to serve all human beings regardless of their religion.

The word was read out on his behalf by Metropolitan Bakhomious of Beheira.
The new pope will lead the Coptic Church, which claims more than 10 million congregants, succeeding late pope Shenouda III who passed away last March.
Hundreds of Egyptian Christians and tens of state officials and international dignitaries packed the Cathedral to mark the event.

Source: Egypt State Information Service

Grand Imam of Al-Azhar pays first visit to Pope Tawadros II

Ahmed El-Tayeb of Al-Azhar visits newly enthroned Coptic
Orthodox Pope Tawadros II at St Mark's Cathedral in Cairo
-Photo courtesy of MCN
Cairo, Wednesday 21 November 2012: Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar His Eminence Grand Imam Dr. Ahmed Al Tayeb visited newly enthroned Pope of Alexandria His Holiness Tawadros II for the first time on Wednesday morning.
The visit took place at Saint Mark's Cathedral in Abbasiya, central Cairo. El-Tayeb was accompanied by Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa and a delegation of scholars and sheikhs from Al-Azhar, the most prestigious institution in Sunni Islam.
El-Tayeb congratulated Tawadros on becoming Egypt’s 118th pope.
“We are happy with this patriotic spirit,” Pope Tawadros said after the meeting.
The pope commended Al-Azhar and described it as an institution that “adopts a moderate discourse.”
El-Tayeb also spoke about future relations between the Orthodox Church and Al-Azhar.
“We hope to work together hand in hand as Muslims and Christians to remove any obstacles that affect the values of equal citizenship,” he said.
Pope Tawadros was crowned at a ceremony on 18 November. He replaced Pope Shenouda II who was pope for more than four decades.

source: Ahram Online

Read more: Daily News Egypt

Egyptian President Morsi Congratulates Pope Tawadros II for Being Officially Enthroned

Cairo,18 November 2012: President Mohamed Morsi sent on 18/11/2012 a cable of congratulations to Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria and Patriarch of St. Mark Diocese for being officially enthroned, wishing him success in his mission for maintaining the unity among Egyptian people.

source: Egypt State Information Service (Cairo)- AllAfrica


Enthronement of His Holiness the Pope Theodoros II (VIDEO)

His Holiness Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, congratulates the new Coptic Pope

Archbishop of Canterbury sends delegation to enthronement of new Coptic Pope

The Most Reverend Rowan Williams
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
London, Sunday 18th November 2012: The Archbishop of Canterbury,the Most Reverend Rowan Williams sent the following message to the enthronement of His Holiness Pope Tawadros of the Coptic Orthodox Church in St Mark's Cathedral, Cairo, 18 November 2012.

The Archbishop was represented at the celebration by President Bishop Mouneer Anis, Bishop of the Diocese of Egypt and Primate of the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East, Archbishop Michael Jackson, Archbishop of Dublin and Primate of Ireland, and Canon Jonathan Goodall, his Ecumenical Secretary.

His Holiness TAWADROS
Pope of Alexandria & Patriarch of the See of St Mark

Your Holiness: Dear Brother in the Lord

It was with great joy that we learned of your election, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, as Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria; and it is with the deepest respect and love in the Lord that we greet you as the successor of the Apostle and Evangelist St Mark, praying that the spirit and power of that Apostle may live in you as your new ministry for Christ’s people is inaugurated in Cairo today.

Many say that the gospel of St Mark was written to a Christian community facing hardship and uncertainty, so as to encourage them to bear the cross, to witness without fear, and to announce daily in word and deed the new world that has begun in the Resurrection of the Lord. We know that in Egypt today our brothers and sisters in the faith need to hear just such a gospel message, and we pray that with you as their new Father in God, the Coptic Orthodox Church will be a bold, prayerful and loving preacher of this Good News, and a worthy successor to the great Pope Shenuda of blessed memory.

As Anglicans, our friendship with the Coptic Church is a treasured reality, and we hope that in the years ahead we may continue in regular contact and fraternal exchange in whatever ways are possible, so that we may support each other in prayer and love. We greatly honour all those who continue to bear Christian witness in the lands where Our Lord walked in the days of His Incarnation, and it is our most earnest hope that they will go on playing a central role in securing peace, reconciliation and justice in the whole region, demonstrating once again that in the neighbourhood of the Church and under its protection all may be sure of respect and support: ‘the birds come and make their nests in its shade’ (Mark 4.32).

Your Holiness, Dear Brother in the Lord:
we uphold you and to all our beloved fellow-Christians in Egypt,
in our daily prayers:

+ Rowan Cantuar:

London, 18 November 2012

The Church of England


Bishop Raphel elected as the Secretary to the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church

Bishop Raphael

Cairo, 22 November: The Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria and All Africa announced Bishop Raphael as the new Secretary to the Holy Synod.Bishop Raphael will replace His Eminence Metropolitan Bishoy, Bishop of Damietta, who took this office since 1995. The deselection was made in the session of the Holy Synod of the Coptic Church presided by Pope Pope Tawadros II.
Bishop Raphael had been one of the three candidates whose names had been submitted for the Sacred Lot and has served as General Bishop for Central Cairo. He will be supported by three assistant secretaries, Bishop Thomas of El Qussiya, Bishop Youssef of Florida & the South of USA and Bishop Apollo of South Sinai, the last being nominated by Pope Tawadros II.

The Metropolitan of the Holy Metropolis of Glastonbury and Primate of the British Coptic Orthodox Church, Abba Seraphim, who returned to London after the papal enthronement, had sent his apologies for not attending the Synod, but stated that he believed the bishops had reflected the wider opinion of the Coptic community and that the choice had fallen on able and talented men.
The first picture of the Holy Synod with His Holiness Pope Tawadros. Photo Source: Lovers of Bishop Rafael(facebook page)

His All-Holiness Bartholomew on the Enthronement of the new Coptic Pope

On the Occasion of the Enthronement of His Holiness Pope Tawadros II

(November 18, 2012)
Beloved Brother in Christ, Pope Tawadros II,
It is with great joy and genuine delight that, in the person of our official representative, His Eminence Metropolitan Gennadios of Sassima, we participate – with all the clergy and laity throughout the world – in this solemn and historical milestone of your holy Coptic Church, which today hails and embraces its new spiritual leader in your gracious person.
You are succeeding a respected Pope, Shenouda III, who for over 40 years led your ancient and venerable Church, tracing its roots from the legacy of St. Mark the Apostle and Evangelist, out of the desert to a promised land, where it now enjoys broad reputation for its spiritual traditions of prayer and monasticism.
It is here that the monastic life emerged and blossomed with such saintly personalities as Antony the Great, Paul the Hermit, Paisius the “star of the desert,” Pachomius the Conobite, and Macarius of Alexandria. And today, beloved Brother in the Lord, it is from the same spring that you assume the pastoral staff and responsibility for a Church, which looks to you for leadership and guidance, particularly during this crucial period for your nation in particular and the entire Middle East in general.
In this regard, your education and formation – both in the secular world of the sciences as well as in the spiritual world of the virtues – have appropriately prepared you for the noble task of defining the role of your Church both here and abroad in light of the changing political climate but especially in light of your paternal love for the youth of your Church.
It is our sincere prayer to continue the theological dialogue between our two Church families in order to bring the successful deliberations over the last few decades to a meaningful and fruitful conclusion.
Therefore, dear Brother, Pope Tawadros, may your years be many and healthy; may your ministry be constructive and fruitful; and may your leadership be discerning and compassionate. We know that your service hitherto as a bishop, monk and theologian will prove invaluable resources that – we fervently pray – divine grace will richly bless and multiply for the ongoing welfare of your Church, for the enrichment of relations between our Churches, and for the benefit of all God’s world.
We wholeheartedly congratulate you and look forward to working with you in the effort to promote the holiness, peace, and justice of God in order that His “will may be done on earth as in heaven.”
Your beloved brother in Christ
Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome
And Ecumenical Patriarch

source: The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople

Pope Benedict XVI: Message to Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria (full text)

Vatican: Pope Benedict XVI has sent a Message of congratulations to the Pope of Alexandria, His Holiness Tawadros II, who was enthroned on Sunday in the Cathedral Basilica of St Mark in Cairo, Egypt. In the Message, Pope Benedict promises prayers for the success of Pope Tawadros' ministry. Pope Benedict goes on to express the hope that relations between the Catholic Church and the Coptic Orthodox Church will continue to grow closer, "[N]ot only in a fraternal spirit of collaboration, but also through a deepening of the theological dialogue that will enable us to grow in communion and to bear witness before the world to the saving truth of the Gospel." Below, please find the full text of the Message.


Pope of Alexandria
Patriarch of the See of Saint Mark

“Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ” (Gal 1:3)
It is with fraternal joy that I send greetings to Your Holiness on the happy occasion of your enthronement as Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of Saint Mark. To my Venerable Brother Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, I have entrusted the task of conveying these greetings to you, together with assurances of my closeness in prayer as you assume the high office of chief shepherd of the Coptic Orthodox Church. May the Almighty grant Your Holiness abundant spiritual gifts to strengthen you in your new ministry, as you guide the clergy and laity along the paths of holiness, for the good of your people and the peace and harmony of the whole of society.
My thoughts turn at this time to your venerable predecessor, His Holiness Pope Shenouda III, whose long and devoted service to the Lord will surely continue to inspire you and all the faithful. His concern for improving relations with other Christian Churches reinforces our hope that one day all the followers of Christ will find themselves united in that love and reconciliation which the Lord so earnestly desires (cf. Jn 17:21).

Your Holiness, I pray that the Holy Spirit will sustain you in your ministry, so that the flock entrusted to your care may experience the teaching of the Good Shepherd. May they be blessed with the serenity to offer their valuable contribution to the good of society and the well-being of all their fellow-citizens.
I pray too that relations between the Catholic Church and the Coptic Orthodox Church will continue to grow closer, not only in a fraternal spirit of collaboration, but also through a deepening of the theological dialogue that will enable us to grow in communion and to bear witness before the world to the saving truth of the Gospel.
Conscious of the great challenges which accompany the spiritual and pastoral ministry that Your Holiness is about to undertake, I assure you of my prayers and personal good wishes. With fraternal esteem and affection I implore God’s blessings upon you and upon all the faithful entrusted to your care.

source :Vatican Radio


Vatican City, 18 November 2012 (VIS) - His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, recently elected as the one hundred and eighteenth patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church, was enthroned on 18th November 2012 at St. Mark's Cathedral in Cairo, Egypt. The ceremony was attended by Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity of the Roman Catholic Church, who brought a letter from the Pope Benedict XVI.

In the text, Benedict XVI expresses his hope that the Almighty may grant "abundant spiritual gifts to strengthen you in your new ministry, as you guide the clergy and laity along the paths of holiness, for the good of your people and the peace and harmony of the whole of society".

The Holy Father of Rome mentions Tawadros II's predecessor, Pope Shenouda III, his interest in improving relations with other Christian Churches, and his concern that this might "reinforce our hope that one day all the followers of Christ will find themselves united in that love and reconciliation which the Lord so earnestly desires".

He adds, "I pray that the Holy Spirit will sustain you in your ministry, so that the flock entrusted to your care may experience the teaching of the Good Shepherd. May they be blessed with the serenity to offer their valuable contribution to the good of society and the well-being of all their fellow-citizens".

The Pope of Rome concludes, "I pray too that the relations between the Catholic Church and the Coptic Orthodox Church will continue to grow closer, not only in a fraternal spirit of collaboration, but also through a deepening of the theological dialogue that will enable us to grow in communion and to bear witness before the world to the saving truth of the Gospel".

source :VIS – Vatican Information Service


The delegation of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin partook in the ordination ceremony of the new Pope of the Coptic Church

YEREVAN, NOVEMBER 19, ARMENPRESS. By the blessing of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, the delegation of the Armenian Catholicosate partook in the ordination ceremony of Tawadros II as the Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church at St. Mark's Cathedral in the heart of Cairo on November 18. The Primate of the Diocese of Tavush His Grace Archbishop Yeznik Petrosyan, Primate of the Armenian Diocese of Egypt His Grace Bishop Ashot Mnatsakanian and the Head of the Inter Church Relations Department of the Armenian Church  His Grace Bishop Hovakim Manukian have been involved in the delegation.

The Information System of the Mother See informed "Armenpress" that after the Holy Mass the members of the delegation had a meeting with Pope Tawadros II passing to the Head of the Coptic Church fraternal greetings and congratulation of the Catholicos of All Armenians. In the congratulatory message it is said: "By the will of God and the confidence of the Coptic believers Your Grace has been chosen as a successor of St. Mark in such a crucial period for the Coptic Christians to serve their spiritual needs. By the help of almighty God Your Grace will continue the work of Your predecessor of holy memory also by supporting the dialogue between the churches."


Information Service of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin


His Holiness Aram I Congratulates New Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church

ANTELIAS (Lebanon), November 21, 2012 – Archbishops Sebouh Sarkissian and Nareg Alemezian traveled to Cairo to represent His Holiness Aram I and the Catholicosate of Cilicia at the enthronement of Tawadros II as the new Coptic Orthodox Pope. Archbishop Sebouh read the message.

In his message, Catholicos Aram I referred first to the long historical relations between the Coptic and Armenian Orthodox Churches since the Council of Chalcedon in 451 AD. After the division of the Orthodox churches, the two sister churches worked together to counter the heretic groups weakening their communities.

Catholicos Aram I spoke of the importance of the ecumenical movement as an instrument of the churches to work together. He also mentioned the Christian presence in the Middle East, and said, “For centuries, Christians and Muslims have lived together in the Middle East. The two Monotheistic religions should continue living together by affirming their common values and by respecting their differences.”

At the end of his message, His Holiness Aram I invited Pope Tawadros II to strengthen relations between Oriental Orthodox Churches in the Middle East through the Meeting of the Heads of Oriental Orthodox Churches and the activities of its committees. The meeting was established 15 years ago by the Coptic Orthodox Church, the Syriac Orthodox Church and the Armenian Church (Catholicosate of Cilicia).

Source: Catholicosate of Cilicia


His Holiness the Catholicose of the East attended the enthronement ceremony of the new Coptic Pope

(Photo: courtesy of Lovers of Bishop Rafael facebook page)

CAIRO: Coptic Orthodox Church enthroned its new pope Sunday in an ornate, three-hour ceremony on Nov. 18, 2012 attended by top officials from Egyptian government and hierarchs from Orthodox Christendom

Tawadros II, 60, was chosen the church’s 118th pope this month in long-awaited elections following the death in March of Pope Shenouda III, who was patriarch for four decades. The cathedral of St. Mark, the church’s founding saint, erupted in applause when the papal crown was placed on Tawadros’ head.

The Malankara Orthodox Church which is in communion with the ancient Coptic Church was represented by a full delegation headed by the Catholicos and Malankara Metropolitan, His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Paulose II on Sunday at Cairo on the occasion of the function that enthroned the newly elected Coptic Orthodox Pope of Alexandria and See of St. Mark, Amba Tawadros as the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church. The other members of the delegation are Dr. Gabriel Mar Gregorios Metropolitan, Fr. Dr. K. M. George, Fr. Abraham Thomas and Jacob Mathew.

The Catholicos was felicitated at the luncheon reception hosted by the new Patriarch after the enthronement. Meeting with him in a private audience, the Catholicos congratulated the new Patriarch and expressed confidence that he would be a beacon of light for the Christian community in the region, while continuing to build social solidarity amongst its various communities. He also invited him to visit the Malankara Orthodox Church in India at the earliest opportunity.

Delegations from the Vatican, the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Moscow Patriarchate and others have represented Churches from all over the world. Coptic Christians from different countries assembled at St. Mark’s Cathedral for the event. The presence of senior state dignitaries of Egypt underscored the national significance of the elevation of the new patriarch of the Coptic Church.

Amidst continuing tensions regarding the desecration of Christian Churches and the oppressive measures against the Christian population, St. Marks Cathedral and its surroundings are in a celebratory atmosphere. In the context of the Holy Liturgy of the Coptic Church, the Senior Bishop together with the Synod of Bishops elevated the former monk of one of the desert monasteries, to the throne of the Patriarch. The new Patriarch Tawadros II is shouldering a huge responsibility in the light of political and social unrest, in the region.

News reported by : Joji Ninan
Orthodox Herald

HH Catholicos visited Coptic Pope HH Thevdros II at Cairo

H E Abba Seraphim attended the enthronement ceremony of the new Pope

Cairo: Abba Seraphim flew into Cairo just after midnight on 17 November. Providentially he was on the same flight as Their Graces Bishop Missael and Angaelos, so upon arrival at Cairo airport his passage through the usual formalities was expedited. From his base at the Sonesta Hotel, Bishop Angaelos was the member of the Holy Synod charged with organising the greeting of ecumenical guests and their transport to the hotel, all undertaken with seamless efficiency. Abba Seraphim was met by his hosts Mamdouh Abdou and Soheir, known affectionately by Abba Seraphim as ’Om Shenouda’. Their son, Shenouda Mamdouh, the Egyptian Secretary to the British Orthodox Church was actually still in London on business.

After resting overnight, later that morning, Abba Seraphim met with Father Abraham Thomas, secretary of the Department of Ecumenical Relations of the Indian Orthodox Church as well as a number of other church leaders and ecumenical guests staying in Cairo. In the late afternoon he attended the arrival of His Holiness Pope Taodros II at the Papal Residence in Anba Rueiss, where he prayed the Thanksgiving Prayer and offered incense in the Chapel of the Residence before receiving the greetings of the bishops and staff. In the evening Abba Seraphim attended a private dinner hosted by His Holiness the Catholicos of the East, Mar Basilius MarThoma Paulose II, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Giza.

Early on Sunday morning, 18 November, the Holy Synod gathered at the Papal Residence for the formal enthronement ceremonies. To the sound of drums and trumpets, the procession, led by chanting deacons, the bishops and metropolitans - fully vested in their Eucharistic robes – led their new Pope into the Cathedral of St. Mark. Attended on one side by the magnificent figure of Metropolitan Pachomius, the locum tenens, and on the other by Bishop Sarabamoun, Abbot of the Monastery of St. Bishoy, the Pope was met at the shut west door of the Cathedral. Here the Archdeacon surrendered the great key to the Pope, who unlocked the doors so that the procession could pass into the packed cathedral. The Liturgy was already in progress, as the consecration of bishops and enthronement of Patriarchs takes place after the Pauline Epistle. Pope Taodros, dressed only in a plain black cassock, sat alone on a dais in the midst of the khorus as the prayers were led by Metropolitan Pachomios with the participation of all the bishops. The new papal vestments were blessed by all the members of the Holy Synod as well as the Ethiopian and Armenian bishops present. As the Pope received his crown from the hands of Metropolitan Pachomius, and was installed on the Throne of St. Mark, the congregation broke into spontaneous and prolonged applause.

As each bishop greeted the new Pope on his throne during the chanting of Axios, H.H. Mor Ignatius Zakka Iwas, Patriarch of Antioch, and the accompanying Syriac Orthodox bishops, chanted hymns and prayers of blessing and the Pope descended from his throne to embrace his frail brother Patriarch, who is now confined to a wheelchair The Liturgy continued in its normal order, the whole service lasting about six hours. It was followed by a celebratory banquet in the crypt of the cathedral.

Source: britishorthodox.org/

Pope Tawadros II is enthroned

Sunday 18 Nov 2012

In a ceremony that began at 7:00 this morning at St Mark’s cathedral in Abassiya, Cairo, Pope Tawadros II was enthroned the 118th Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St Mark.

The cathedral was decorated for the occasion with a flurry of white and red flowers, and the scouts and guides of the Church were on hand to usher the visitors and maintain order.
Guests included the presidential representative Mohamed Rifaa Tahtawi, the heads of political parties and movements, current and former cabinet members, as well as a number of public figures.
Holy Mass began and, once the Synaxarium (the history of the saints) was read, the enthronement ceremony began. The enthronement is usually placed right after the Synaxarium, to remind that the new pope is the last in a line of a two centuries old tradition of serving the Lord.
The enthronement ceremony of Coptic Orthodox patriarchs is detailed at http://www.wataninet.com/watani_Article_Details.aspx?A=33443

His Holiness Mar Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, congratulates the Pope
Pope Tawadros was visibly moved and appeared to view in awe and reverence the responsibility he was to shoulder. He broke into tears several times during the ceremony, and finally calmed down when he was crowned and seated on the throne of St Mark. Especially moving for him and for all the congregation was the fact that he was being enthroned by none other than his beloved spiritual father Anba Pachomeus, Archbishop of Beheira, Matrouh, and Pentapolis; and acting patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church during the interim period between the death of Pope Shenouda III last March and the seating of Pope Tawadros II today. When Anba Pachomeus al last announced he had carried out his mission as interim patriarch, handed over the Church to her new pastor, and was returning back to his parish and people Pope Tawadros, who was already seated on the throne and carried the pastoral staff and the cross, broke into an uncontrollable sob. Pope Tawadros is Anba Pachomeus’s disciple and had served under him since he was a young student and until he took orders, then later as Bishop-General of Beheira. Today, however, Anba Pachomeus declared that Anba Tawadros had become his father and that, as such, he owed the new Pope full reverence and service.
H H Mar Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, congratulates the Pope.
Catholicos of the East, His Holiness Baselios Marthoma
Paulose II is also seen.

To a deeply moved congregation, and upon request by Pope Tawadros, Anba Pachomeus read the first address of the new Pope to his people. Pope Tawadros focused on the need for one united flock, and a pastor who would work to serve and unite all with the bond of love. He thanked all who had come to share in the ceremony, and offered his sincere condolences to those who lost loved ones in yesterday’s bus accident in Manfalout, Upper Egypt. He asked for the congregation’s prayers for the Lord to help and support him carry out fully the responsibility he has been shouldered with.
There followed several words of congratulations by the heads of Churches who had come to attend the enthronement. First among them was the word of the Patriarch of Antioch Mar-Ignatius Zaka who had come from Damascus on a wheelchair to attend. He congratulated the Coptic Church and the Pope Tawadros whom he pledged to pray for and support, especially given the hard times Egypt and the whole world is going through. When Pope Mar-Ignatius Zaka concluded his word, Pope Tawadros descended the throne and rushed to warmly thank him.

Anba Pola, Bishop of Tanta and prime organiser of the enthronement ceremony, stood up and thanked every official and public figure by name for sharing in today’s event. Congratulations then flowed in as many rose to wish the new Pope well.
Holy Mass was then resumed, after which the new Pope, accompanied by the bishops, should visit the shrine of St Mark in the crypt under the altar.

Source: Watani International
Photos of Ceremony: 1, 2, 3, 4,5


Pope Tawadros II assumes leadership of Egypt's Coptic Church

The Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Church welcomes Tawadros II to lead Egypt's Coptic population in a solemn mass

Cairo, Sunday 18 Nov 2012: Pope Tawadros cried as he assumed the leadership of the Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Church on Sunday morning at the St. Mark Cathedral in Abbasiya in Cairo.

The new pope will lead the church, which claims more than 10 million congregants, succeeding late pope Shenouda III who passed away last March after leading the church for four decades.

Pope Tawadros was chosen from among three religious leaders in an altar lottery on 4 Novemebr to head the church.

Hundreds of Egyptian Christians and tens of state officials and international dignitaries packed the Cathedral to mark the historic event.

Pope Pope's enthronement (Photo: Mai Shaheen-Ahram Online)
"He will pray for the entire leadership and will obey the words of God, " the church's officials welcomed the new pope at the helm of the cathedral.

The Church had decided to lomit the pope's inauguration to religious rites in mourning of the victims of a train accident that claimed the lives of tens of children in Assiut on Saturday.

President Mohamed Morsi did not attend the celebration sending presidential representatives to take part.

Prime Minister Hisham Qandil attended the ceremony but arrived two hours into the event that started at 8am.
Pope Egypt's 118th Coptic Pope Tawdros II cries during his
enthronement, 18 November 2012 (Photo-snapshot from ONTV)

Reform campaigner Mohamed ElBaradei, former presidential candidate Amr Moussa, former MP Marianne Malak were among those who attended.

The ceremony was conducted in Coptic, Arabic, English and French.

Source: Ahram Online

Catholicos Baselius Marthoma Paulose II hosts Oriental Orthodox Delegation

Giza, November 18, 2012: On the eve of 18th November , His Holiness Baselius Marthoma Paulose II, Catholicos of the East and Primate of the Indian Orthodox Syrian Church hosted dinner reception to the delegates of the Oriental Orthodox Churches who are in Egypt to take part in the Coptic Papal Consecration.

Archbishop George Saliba, the secretary of the synod of the Syrian Orthodox Church , Archbishop Seraphim of the Coptic Church, Archbishop Nareg of the Armenian Orthodox church , Arch Bishop Nathanael of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, and several other dignitaries of various Oriental Orthodox Churches attended the dinner which was held at the Four Seasons Hotel at Giza. Apart from them Rev. Tara Curwelos, Gen. sec. Australian Council of Churches, Rev. Robert Fyfe, General Secretary, CTBI, Dr. Yuhanon Marte, President, Pro-Oriente were among the invited guests.

Source:OCP News Service

HH Baselios Marthoma Paulose II Catholicos gave a dinner reception to the available delegates of the Oriental Orthodox Churches at Cairo.
Dinner at The Four Seasons Hotel, Giza on Saturday, 17 Nov. 7:00 pm
Archbishop Nathaniel, Acting Patriarch, Ethiopian Orthodox Church
Metropolitan Theophilose George Saliba, Synod Secretary, Syrian Orthodox Church
Archbishop Nareg Almesian, the Armenian Apostolic Church
Archbishop Gabriel, Ethiopian Orthodox Church
Metropolitan Abba Seraphim, (British) Coptic Orthodox Church
Archbishop Sarkessian, Armenian Apostolic Church
Bishop Sharl
Metropolitan Dr. Gabriel Mar Gregorios, Indian Orthodox Church
Fr. Dr. K. M. George, Indian Orthodox Church
Rev. Tara Curwelos, Gen. sec. Australian Council of Churches
Fr. Abraham Thomas, Indian Orthodox Church
Rev. Robert Fyfe, General Secretary, CTBI
Dr. Yuhanon Marte, President, Pro-Oriente
Jacob Mathew (Jojo, Indian Orthodox Church Managing committee Member)
Dn. jiss Johnson, Indian Orthodox Church


Egypt’s Mursi to avoid Coptic ceremony, dismays Christians

CAIRO, Fri Nov 16, 2012 3:18pm EST (Reuters) – President Mohamed Mursi will not attend the installation ceremony of the new Coptic pope, the church said on Friday, to the dismay of Christians who fear being sidelined in the new Islamist-led Egypt.
Pope Tawadros II, will be installed at Cairo’s Abbasiya Cathedral on Sunday in a ceremony attended by Christian leaders from several countries as well as Egyptian public figures.
A church source told Reuters: “We don’t know why Mursi will not attend but it is a major event and nothing should stand in the way of him attending … Christians always had a strong feeling that he does not want to come.”
Pope Tawadros II and Mursi’s office were not immediately available for comment. A presidential source said there had been no government announcement regarding Mursi’s plans.
Mursi, who hails from the Muslim Brotherhood, has repeatedly said he is the president of all Egyptians but Christians cite recent cases of religious intimidation by radical Islamists, such as a raid earlier this month on a party to promote interfaith harmony, as a sign of things to come.
Coptic rights activist and lawyer Peter el-Naggar said: “President Mursi’s decision not to attend comes as a surrender to pressures that some (ultra-orthodox Islamist) Salafi groups and others put on him.”
“The presidency has previously announced that the president will attend if he got invited, and he was invited,” he said.
Egypt’s Coptic minority is the Middle East’s largest Christian community. Pope Tawadros II told Reuters earlier this month that a constitution being drafted by Egypt’s politicians must be inclusive and that the church would oppose any text that only addressed one part of the Muslim-majority nation.
Representatives of Egypt’s churches agreed on Thursday to withdraw from the assembly writing the constitution in protest at some clauses in the draft, the state news agency MENA reported. They will make a final decision on withdrawing pending consultation with Pope Tawadros, MENA said.
(Reporting by Yasmine Saleh and Shaimaa Fayed; Writing by Shaimaa Fayed; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)
Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/16/us-egypt-church-mursi-idUSBRE8AF1DZ20121116

Who is Pope Tawadros II?

Friday 09 Nov 2012
Victor Salama - Mariam Rifaat

Anba Tawadros was born Waguih Sobhy Baqi Soliman in 1952, to a family whose father’s job as a survey engineer required him to be stationed in various places in Egypt.

The family finally settled down in Damanhur, Beheira, west of the Delta, where the young Soliman was a regular and active volunteer in Church services, and was put in charge of the Sunday School service at the church of the Archangel Michael in Damanhur. Meanwhile, he earned a degree in Pharmacy from Alexandria University in 1975 and in 1985 a degree from the UK. He was manager of a pharmaceutical plant in Damanhur.

Anba Pachomeus’s disciple
Soliman’s relation with Anba Pachomeus, Archbishop of Beheira and the current acting patriarch, goes back to his years as a university student when his broadmindedness and keenness on Church service drew the archbishop’s attention. Soliman served with Anba Pachomeus until he took orders in 1988 under the name of Tawadros (Theodore) at the monastery of Anba Bishoi in the Western Desert. There, he was put in charge of the monastery’s guesthouse. In 1990, the monk Tawadros was ordained a priest and took charge of the youth service.
When Pope Shenouda decided to make Fr Tawadros bishop-general, Anba Pachomeus asked to have him serve in Beheira.
Anba Tawadros has written several books on the Christian faith and Bible study, as well as a number of booklets on the various feasts or occasions of the Church. He is credited with establishing the concept of special prayer meetings for specific groups, including family meetings, youth meetings, workers’ meetings, and suchlike. He launched the meetings during the 1990s, and now it has become a nationwide Church practice. He also established Beit al-Karma at King Maryut in the vicinity of Alexandria, as a retreat centre. The Beit includes a Bible museum and an activity centre for children.
Anba Tawadros also teaches at the Coptic Orthodox Church’s Clerical College.

Intermingle and integrate
In an interview aired by Christian TV channels some three weeks ago, Anba Tawadros talked at length about his work with the youth. He said that, especially after the 25 January Revolution, listening to the young and interacting with them on an intelligent basis is of vital importance. “Dialogue with youth can no longer be handled from the social perspective of defending a fait accompli; we should strive to come up with new convincing means of dialogue,” said Anba Tawadros.
From time immemorial, Anba Tawadros said, Egyptians of all religions have coexisted and intermingled, and we should work to preserve this. “Sadly,” he said, “we have lived a phase where our children refrained from dealing with the others outside the Church. In many instances, Coptic youth no longer sufficiently integrated in their community since the various activities were offered to them in their churches.”
“Through schools and the media, we should work to teach our children to integrate in the community and intermingle with the ‘other’,” he said.

WATANI International
11 November 2012