From Vatican News: 

Pope Francis was joined at his weekly General Audience by Pope Tawadros II, the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church, for a special joint greeting to the faithful.

The pair exchanged greetings, and Pope Tawadros addressed the crowd gathered in St Peter’s Square, the first time the head of another Church has done so.

“Beloved brother, His Holiness Pope Francis,” said Pope Tawadros, “Christ is risen, He is truly risen!”

The Coptic Orthodox leader recalled his last visit to St Peter’s Square, ten years ago today. “I look at this place,” he said, “and I go back in my memory to ten years ago, on this same date, and I remember your dear affection in welcoming me, together with the delegation of the Coptic Church.”

Pope Tawadros recalled that, on that occasion, on 10 May 2013, he had suggested that the date be celebrated as a ‘Day of Coptic-Catholic Friendship’ every year. Since then, he said, he and Pope Francis have spoken on the phone on 10 May each year.

The Coptic Orthodox leader went on to thank Pope Francis for his visit to Egypt in 2017, recalling that the country – where his Church is based – has ancient Christian roots, and was the land in which monasticism was born.

“Despite the differences in our roots and affiliations,” he said, “we are united by the love of Christ who dwells within us, and the host of our Apostolic Fathers and saints which surrounds and guides us.”

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