Pope Tawadros II and the delegation accompanying him in his visit to Australia landed on Wednesday 6 September in the capital, Canberra, where they were received by Egyptian Ambassador, Muhammad Khairat, members of the clergy, and members of the Coptic congregation of Canberra.
The Pope visited the headquarters of the Australian Parliament where he met Australian Premier Malcolm Turnbull, Minister of Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton, and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop. He also met the President of the Senate Stephen Parry, as well as a number of sitting MPs, among whom was opposition leader MP Bill Shorten and Peter Khalil, the first Coptic Australian to serve as federal politician.
Pope Tawadros held a press conference inside the Federal Parliament. This was followed by a lunch hosted by the Australian Federal Parliament in honour of the Pope.
Following that, the Pope laid the foundation stone of the Archdeacon Habib Girgis Building which is being built within the project of the expansion of Canberra’s Coptic Orthodox St Mark’s church.
6 September 2017