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Roman Pope Benedict XVI Congratulates Newly Elected Alexandrian Pope


Bishop Tawadros of Beheria Succeeds the late Pope Shenouda III

CAIRO, Nov. 6, 2012 (Zenit.org): On Sunday, Bishop Anba Tawadros of Beheria was elected as the new Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church. His Holiness Tawadros succeeds Shenouda III who passed away in March.

In a telegram sent to Pope-elect Tawadros, Roman Pope Benedict XVI expressed his joy upon hearing of the election of the new Patriarch of the See of Saint Mark and extended his "good wishes and prayerful solidarity" with the Coptic Orthodox Church.

"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," the Pope said.

Pope-elect Tawadros is the 118th Orthodox Coptic Patriarch, the first in the post-Mubarak era. The current ruling party in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood, hailed the new election and congratulated Pope Tawadros. The party expressed optimism, hoping for a "positive cooperation with the new Patriarch, considered spiritual guide of Coptic brothers in the diffusion of the values of justice, liberty and equality."

The 60 year old Coptic Orthodox Patriarch obtained a degree in pharmaceutical engineering before opting for the religious life. The Egyptian media highlighted his theological capability and his pastoral activity with young people.

Pope Benedict cited the important progress made by the late Pope Shenouda III in fostering a deeper relationship between the two faiths.

"I thank the Almighty for the important progress that was made, under the leadership of your esteemed predecessor, in the relations between the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church, and I earnestly hope and pray that our continuing friendship and dialogue, guided by the Holy Spirit, will bear fruit in ever closer solidarity and lasting reconciliation," the Holy Father said.

Concluding his message, the Pope wished Pope-elect Tawadros "peace and strength" on his new task as pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of Saint Mark.

ZENIT


Roman Pope's Message to His Holiness Anba Tawadros

VATICAN CITY, Nov. 4, 2012 (Zenit.org): Here is the text of the telegram sent by Roman Pope Benedict XVI to the newly elected Patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt, His Holiness Anba Tawadros, who was chosen yesterday as Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of Saint Mark in Cairo.

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His Holiness Anba Tawadros
Pope-Elect of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of Saint Mark

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 world may believe (cf. Jn. 17:21). I thank the Almighty for the important progress that was made, under the leadership of your esteemed predecessor, in the relations between the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church, and I earnestly hope and pray that our continuing friendship and dialogue, guided by the Holy Spirit, will bear fruit in ever closer solidarity and lasting reconciliation. May our Heavenly Father fill you with peace and strength for the noble task that awaits you.

BENEDICTUS PP. XVI
November 6, 2012

[Original text: English]


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