Vatican City, May 10, 2023 / 04:15 am
Pope Francis and the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, Pope Tawadros II, led the general audience at the Vatican on Wednesday.
In a change from the usual pattern of Pope Francis’ weekly public audience, the two leaders sat together on the platform in front of St. Peter’s Basilica.
The gathering opened with a speech by Tawadros II in Arabic, followed by Pope Francis’ own greeting to the Coptic Orthodox leader.
Tawadros II’s visit to Rome this week marks the anniversary of a historic encounter between St. Paul VI and Pope Shenouda III of Alexandria in 1973. The meeting 50 years ago this year marked a renewal in relations between the Catholic and Coptic Orthodox Churches.