To mark the eighth Day of Brotherly Love between the Roman Catholic and the Coptic Orthodox Churches, Pope Tawadros II received today a warm telephone call from Pope Francis to wish him well and to assert the strong relation between both Churches.
During the phone call, Pope Francis made a point of expressing his respect and appreciation of the strong faith of the “brave” Libya Martyrs, the 20 Copts and one Ghanaian who were beheaded by IS for their faith in 2015 on the shores of the Libyan city of Sirte. Pope Francis said that their martyrdom was a true witness to Christian faith.
Pope Tawadros congratulated Pope Francis on the 8th anniversary of their brotherly love, saying that it is a day of joy even though no celebrations could be held to mark it this year owing to the coronavirus pandemic. Both patriarchs agreed to meet after the pandemic is over.
Pope Tawadros thanked Pope Francis for his recent “blessed, successful” visit to Iraq, saying that it reminded him of Pope Francis’s visit to Egypt in 2017. For his part Pope Francis said that his visit to Iraq came as a token of love towards the Iraqi people who have borne much pain.
At the end of their call, both patriarchs pledged that they would pray for the Church, the world and the Middle East, and for the Ethiopian predicament.
The ‘Day for Brotherly Love’ has been annually celebrated since 2013, the year which, on 10 May, saw the historic meeting in Rome of Pope Francis and Pope Tawadros II. This came exactly 40 years after the one that preceded it, which took place between Pope Shenouda III and Pope Paul VI in Rome, and was in turn the first such meeting in over 1500 years since the Great Rift between the Churches in the wake of the Council of Chalcedon in 451; after that date there were practically no relations between Rome and Alexandria—that is, until 1973.
10 May 2021