Vatican City, Nov 5, 2012 / 11:58 am
Pope Benedict XVI congratulated the new leader of the Middle East's largest Christian Church as Christian minorities throughout the region face uncertain futures after the Arab Spring.
"I am confident that … 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," the Pope said in his message to Bishop Tawadros, who was elected 118th pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church.
Elected Nov. 4, Bishop Tawadros succeeds Pope Shenouda III, who died in March after leading his flock for over four decades and pursuing an agenda of Christian unity. He will be officially elevated as Pope Tawadros II on Nov. 18.
Pope Benedict ended his message by describing the current times as "challenging" and urging Egyptian Christians to unify in love and fellowship.