The interim President Adly Mansour today paid a visit to Pope Tawadros II at the papal premises at St Mark’s Cathedral in Abassiya, Cairo, to offer his good wishes to the Pope and the Coptic congregation for Christmas. Copts celebrate Christmas on 7 January
This is the first time a president of Egypt undertakes such a move.
On hand to welcome the president were Anba Raphail, Secretary-General of the Holy Synod; Anba Moussa, Bishop of Youth; Anba Marqos, Bishop of Shubral-Kheima, and the Bishops-General Anba Yu’annis and Anba Ermiya.
The Pope expressed his happiness with the visit which the Church described as the epitome of love, courtesy, and hope. “On behalf of all the clergy of the Coptic Orthodox Church, the Holy Synod, the Melli (Community) Council and Coptic Orthodox Endowments Authority,” Pope Tawadros told a beaming, relaxed president, “We say how happy this visit has made us. Mr President, you are welcome in your home. The warmth of your feelings conveya a lovely message to all the people.”
Pope Tawadros received as well a number of Egyptian senior officials who came to offer their good wishes. Among them were the Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy the Minister of Local Development Adel Labib.
The Church’s official spokesman, Fr Boulos Halim denied rumours the Pope Tawadros would not preside over Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. “That’s simply not true,” he said.
5 January 2014