His Holiness Pope Tawadros II congratulates the Catholic and Roman Orthodox churches for Christmas


Posted by the Office of His Holiness

His Holiness Pope Tawadros II led a delegation of the Coptic Orthodox Church, including His Grace Bishop Moussa, Bishop of the youth, and His Grace Bishop Morcos, Bishop of Shubra Al Khaimah, to offer congratulations to the Catholic and Roman Orthodox churches.

This morning, His Holiness visited the Coptic Catholic Diocese in Ibn Sender Square, Cairo, and was greeted by Bishop Kyrillos William and Father Rafiq Greish, head of the Information Office of the Catholic Church.

His Holiness also went to the Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church in El-Zaher, Cairo, and was greeted by Patriarch Gregory III, Patriarch of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church and Archbishop George Baker.

His Holiness Pope Tawadros II said, "Egypt is a fortress of safety not only at home but also for the entire region. When we celebrate Christmas, we remember Egypt and Palestine. Egypt, to which Jesus and the Virgin Mary came to take refuge, and Palestine which witnessed His birth and His life.

"His Holiness added, "On this occasion, each of us should ask ourselves, what will I offer? A Christian must live the life of offering to please God, first offering his own heart, honesty, sincerity and love for others".

His Holiness called for the exercise of love between all churches and the continuation of meetings between them. For his part, Patriarch Gregory III said, "We are so happy for Pope Tawadros' visit, and if the magi offered Christ frankincense, gold and myrrh, you, Your Holiness are the gold, frankincense and myrrh." 

Patriarch Gregory III added, "We need to pray for this world that is full of many challenges, especially since the Coptic Orthodox Church is the most amongst churches with fasts and prayers."

Patriarch Gregory III asked H.H. Pope Tawadros II to adopt a meeting of all the patriarchs in the Middle East to discuss the current situation in the area, to be a spiritual meeting combining all churches, as well as another meeting between Muslims and Christians to kindle a closer relationship that Christians may have a standing in the community without being ignored. 

At the end of the meeting, His Holiness Pope Tawadros II wrote his memorial autograph for Patriarch Gregory III which included the words "Love never fails. "

(Corrected, Dec. 26, 2012)


In the image...Pope Theodore II of the Greek Orthodox Church of Alexandria is with Pope Tawadros II...It seems he visited our brethren the Eastern Orthodox and the Melkite Catholic to congratulate them on the Feast of the Nativity.

Fr. Moses

"20 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will[a] believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me." St John 17:20-23.

These most beautiful words of Our Lord's prayer on the night before He gave Himself up for the life of the world. Christ our God in this prayer is inviting us into the very life of God Himself. The oneness we are called to live is the very Oneness that unites the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit in the life of the Holy and undivided Trinity. Therefore it is a profound, eternal and utter oneness wherein we share by grace in the Life of God Himself. This is the life of the church. Energised by the Holy Mysteries (Sacraments) and fulled by acts of mercy, compassion, kindness and self sacrifice our repentant life draws us ever closer to this Unity. But it is a movement, it is not yet accomplished we must struggle to realise this union with God in our Christian lives. St John Chrysostom says that "nothing so offends all men as divisions". The great Chrysostom goes on to say that Christ has made this union happen "for all who believe through the Apostles". This is a key point in understanding this text. The guarantee of oneness and unity comes with the faith witnessed to and taught by the holy Apostles whose successors are our fathers the bishops. This is orthodoxy. Going further St Chrysostom says "That by miracles, that by doctrines, and, that they should be of one soul; for this is glory, that they should be one, and greater even than miracles. As men admire God because there is no strife or discord in That Nature, and this is His greatest glory, “so too let these,” He says, “from this cause become glorious.” Note that miracles AND doctrines (teaching) are spoken of yet the oneness that unites them is "greater even than miracles". Later on the Saint writes " peace has more power to attract men than a miracle", this divine wisdom of St Chrysostom should be remembered by each one of us every day! We are guaranteed in our orthodox faith of a life we never dared hoped for and a faith that is authentic, true and thoroughly consistent with the original apostolic preaching. That other Christians have departed from these teachings is a cause of grief for all of us, our task is simply to keep the faith and enter ever more deeply into this oneness in God. St Chrysostom says "it is the nature of strife to separate, it is the nature of agreement to weld together". As orthodox Christians we hold fast to what the Apostles and their successors have taught us, as to other Christians we love them, pray for them and like our Pope reach out to them in acts of love and peacefulness.......