Vatican City, May 10, 2016 / 11:20 am
Pope Francis on Tuesday sent a message to Tawadros II to mark the "day of friendship" between Catholics and the Coptic Orthodox, acknowledging their common commitment to being witnesses of holiness and defending the dignity of human life.
"Though we are still journeying towards the day when we will gather as one at the same eucharistic table, we are able even now to make visible the communion uniting us," Pope Francis said in his May 10 letter to Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria, leader of the Coptic Orthodox Church.
Like the Bishop of Rome, the Coptic Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria is known as "Pope" to his followers.
Pope Francis' message marked the third anniversary of his meeting with Tawadros in Rome; the day has become an annual celebration of fraternal love between the Catholic and Coptic Orthodox Churches.