His All-Holiness on the Enthronement of the new Coptic Pope

On the Occasion of the Enthronement of His Holiness Pope Tawadros II
(November 18, 2012)

Beloved Brother in Christ, Pope Tawadros II,

It is with great joy and genuine delight that, in the person of our official representative, His Eminence Metropolitan Gennadios of Sassima, we participate – with all the clergy and laity throughout the world – in this solemn and historical milestone of your holy Coptic Church, which today hails and embraces its new spiritual leader in your gracious person.

You are succeeding a respected Pope, Shenouda III, who for over 40 years led your ancient and venerable Church, tracing its roots from the legacy of St. Mark the Apostle and Evangelist, out of the desert to a promised land, where it now enjoys broad reputation for its spiritual traditions of prayer and monasticism.

It is here that the monastic life emerged and blossomed with such saintly personalities as Antony the Great, Paul the Hermit, Paisius the “star of the desert,” Pachomius the Conobite, and Macarius of Alexandria. And today, beloved Brother in the Lord, it is from the same spring that you assume the pastoral staff and responsibility for a Church, which looks to you for leadership and guidance, particularly during this crucial period for your nation in particular and the entire Middle East in general.

In this regard, your education and formation – both in the secular world of the sciences as well as in the spiritual world of the virtues – have appropriately prepared you for the noble task of defining the role of your Church both here and abroad in light of the changing political climate but especially in light of your paternal love for the youth of your Church.

It is our sincere prayer to continue the theological dialogue between our two Church families in order to bring the successful deliberations over the last few decades to a meaningful and fruitful conclusion.

Therefore, dear Brother, Pope Tawadros, may your years be many and healthy; may your ministry be constructive and fruitful; and may your leadership be discerning and compassionate. We know that your service hitherto as a bishop, monk and theologian will prove invaluable resources that – we fervently pray – divine grace will richly bless and multiply for the ongoing welfare of your Church, for the enrichment of relations between our Churches, and for the benefit of all God’s world.

We wholeheartedly congratulate you and look forward to working with you in the effort to promote the holiness, peace, and justice of God in order that His “will may be done on earth as in heaven.”

Your beloved brother in Christ


Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome
And Ecumenical Patriarch






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