Committee for Relations between the two Churches: the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Russian Orthodox Church H.H. Pope Tawadros II

Committee for Relations between the two Churches: the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Russian Orthodox Church
H.H. Pope Tawadros II
Wednesday May 29, 2019 A.D. / 21st Bashans, 1735 A.M.
Christos Anesti.
Firstly, I would like to express my happiness and my pleasure for our meeting today, this meeting between our two Churches, the Russian Orthodox Church and the Coptic Orthodox Church, here in Cairo, and also for the good growth in the relationship between our two Churches. And this relationship and its growth depend upon our love toward each other, and Love is the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
And I am also very happy with the seven items mentioned here today by Metropolitan Serapion, regarding points of interest for our two Churches:
1. Theological education
2. Deaconia (servanthood)
3. Media
4. Relationships
5. Serving our communities, especially Copts in Russia
6. Cooperation in the lands of immigration, and
7. The interreligious area, especially that service to others is very important, whether in Egypt or in Russia
So this is good news for us regarding the relationship between the two Churches, and I would also like to say that we are slowly growing in our nation on a solid foundation, and this is very important for us.
1-Visiting each other
As I have mentioned before several times, our relationship is like the cross, it begins with a loving relationship in Christ, and Christ among us is building this relationship. And we are now building this relationship through the Russian delegations of monks and heads of monasteries coming here to visit our monasteries’ and ancient churches, and also the Coptic Bishops who have gone to visit Russia and also visited the ancient places, as well as the many monasteries and many churches there. So this is the first step in our relationship of love, visitations.
2-Studying each other
The second step is the study of the history, the tradition, and the legacy of each Church in order to gain more understanding, to be more understanding about what the Russian Church is and what the Coptic Church is, and it is very important that this be done through studying as well as by mutual visits.
3-Dialogues together
The third step is through dialogues, through meetings between delegations from both Churches. I remember that during our first visit to His Holiness Patriarch Kirill, during our first meeting we discussed four dimensions of cooperation for us to have with each other. The first is through the monks or monasteries, the second is through clergy education – theological education, the third is the through the social level, and the fourth is through the theological level.
Dialogue is very important, whether here or in Russia, because dialogue also helps us to build this understanding of each other.
4-Praying for each other
The fourth step is praying. We must pray for each other, we must pray for Christian unity, we must pray to understand the Church, to understand the traditions, and to understand the daily life or the social life of each Church.
When we complete these four steps we will reach the heart of Jesus Christ.
I would like to thank His Holiness Patriarch Kirill and to thank your grace, Bishop, and this Russian delegation. We are happy when you visit Egypt and stay with us, and I hope that this visit will be extended and not be for two days only. I hope it is extended. And I also hope you visit the monasteries because it is very important for you to get the spirit of our fathers, of our desert fathers. These fathers and their prayers will help us to be more understanding of each other.
Thank you to the Coptic delegation and also to your graces, the Bishops, for your participation in this dialogue and for and the many efforts many of you have contributed.
I hope we meet together in love and in hope, and that we try in practical steps to become more knowledgeable about our Churches – about the history of the Churches and also about our theological subjects that we study in our seminaries, both here and in Russia.
Thank you for your coming.
Also, we welcome all the Russian people who would like to come to Egypt and to visit our monasteries, this also builds bridges between us. Thank you so much.