For immediate use
24 June 2013
Coptic Orthodox Church UK
Media and Communications Office
Coptic Orthodox Church (Europe)
Media and Communications Office
His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, 118th Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of All Africa on the holy Apostolic See of Saint Mark, receives the Most Revd Justin Welby, 105th Archbishop of Canterbury, at the Papal Residence in Cairo on 24 June 2013.
The Most Revd Justin Welby visited His Holiness Pope Tawadros II at the Papal Residence in Cairo. His Holiness was accompanied by His Eminence Metropolitan Bishoy, Co-Chair of the Anglican-Oriental Orthodox International Commission, His Grace Bishop Thomas of Quosia, His Grace Bishop Youannes and His Grace Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of The Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom, who is a member of the International Commission and Co-Chair of the Regional Forum in the United Kingdom. Archbishop Justin was accompanied by His Grace Bishop Mounir Hanna, Primate of the Episcopal Church in Egypt and the Horn of Africa, Bishop Michael Lewis, Bishop of Cyprus and the Gulf, Bishop Grant LeMarquand, Area Bishop for the Horn of Africa, and members of the Lambeth Palace ecumenical and inter-religious offices.
The meeting was cordial and addressed the re-initiation of the International Commission later this year in England, and the nature of ongoing relations between the Coptic Orthodox Church, and the wider Oriental Orthodox family, and the Church of England and the Anglican Communion worldwide.
In welcoming the Archbishop, Pope Tawadros said:
‘We must build our dialogue and studies on love and crown them with prayers; we must also prepare our people to love, accept and work with each other in the spirit of unity found in John 17.’
Commenting on the meeting, Archbishop Justin said:
‘We had a very wide-ranging discussion, coming back several times to the question of how the Church can flourish and grow in prayer, in love for one another and in teaching of the scriptures to our contemporaries. It’s important that we find a way of enabling our affection for one another to be transformed into effective shared witness. I also had the opportunity to express the prayer and solidarity of the Anglican Communion with all the Christians of the Middle East as they seek the common good of their various nations.’
Speaking from Cairo, Bishop Angaelos said:
‘In what is proving to be a historic year for meetings between new heads of Churches across the world, this most recent visit of His Grace Archbishop Justin to His Holiness Pope Tawadros has highlighted the continued efforts towards continued good relations and greater unity between our Churches. Having commenced their ministries in leading their respective Churches only months apart, I am sure that this will be an opportunity for Pope Tawadros and Archbishop Justin to develop these existing relationships. It is very significant that our International Commission is recommencing this year after ten years, and I am sure that it will recreate a valuable platform for common understanding, leading to a greater witness of solidarity, not only for members of our own Churches but for the wider Christian Church and the whole world.’