Pope Tawadros II (Theodore II) of Alexandria, the head of the Coptic Church, Successor of St. Mark the Evangelist, first Bishop of Alexandria, is visiting Rome to pay a visit to the Pope and Supreme leader of the Universal Church and Successor of St. Peter the Prince of the Apostles, Pope Francis.
The Coptic Church is the direct descendant of the Patriarchate of Alexandria of the early Christian Pentarchy (Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem), which broke apart from Rome and the Universal Church due to the disagreement in the Council of Chalcedon of 451, on the true nature of Christ.
This disagreement is more due to misunderstanding in the nature of God, whether Christ’s human and divine persona is distinct or mixed. The initial term for non-Chalcedonians is monophysites, which is a heresy stating that both persona are mixed and indistinguishable. In fact, the Coptics and the other non-Chalcedonians in fact adopt miaphysitism, which while distinguishing the human and divine nature of Christ, but also acknowledge the mystery of the relationship between the two persona.
Pope Tawadros II visits Rome in conjunction with the historic first meeting between the two Popes of Rome and Alexandria in 1973 by Pope Shenouda III, Pope Tawadros II’s predecessor, and Pope Paul VI. During that meeting a historic joint declaration of faith and friendship was announced and declared between the two Churches of God.
Pope Francis received a gift of an engolpion, which is a form of imagery in medallion, which is worn in the same way as pectoral cross, which are worn by the bishops of the Eastern Rite.
We hope that all Christians, with the Copts and the Orthodox Churches can be reunited once again with the true and only Church, that is the Church of God, as one Body, indivisible by men and worldly ambitions, in the One, Holy, Roman, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.
Pray always for Christian Unity. That we are One, just as Christ our Lord and the Father in heaven are One.
Ut Omnes Unum Sint, ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam
(That they all may be One, for the greater glory of God)