It was a uncommon day on the Vatican on Wednesday as two popes shared the limelight in St Peter’s Sq. – Pope Francis and His Holiness Pope Tawadros II of the Coptic Orthodox Church.
Tawadros, wearing black robes, was the visitor of honour at Francis’ normal viewers in a wet St. Peter’s Sq.. The 2 sat close to one another and delivered a joint blessing on the finish.
Tawadros, 70, is on the Vatican to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the primary assembly between a Roman pope and a Coptic pope which happened between their respective predecessors, Shenouda III and Paul VI, in 1973.
In his greeting to Tawadros, Francis recalled the 20 Egyptian Copts who have been kidnapped and beheaded on a seaside in Libya by Islamic State in 2015.
“Martyrs of the Coptic Church are ours too,” Francis, 86, stated.
The 20 Copts and one Ghanaian Christian have been lined up on a Libyan seaside in orange jumpsuits earlier than they have been executed within the Libyan metropolis of Sirte, which Islamic State managed between 2015-2017. The Islamist group posted a video of the killings, displaying the boys praying to Jesus as they died.
The victims, whose our bodies have been returned to Egypt in 2018, have been among the many many poor Egyptians who risked their lives to search out work within the lawless chaos of Libya following the downfall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 and civil struggle.
Copts comprise about 10 p.c of Egypt’s largely Muslim inhabitants and there are small Coptic Christian communities all through the Center East and Africa. They’ve lengthy been attacked by Islamist militants who see them as heretics.
Coptic Orthodox Christians hint their origins to St. Mark the Apostle.
Tawadros is because of have a non-public assembly with Francis on Thursday and go to the Vatican division that promotes Christian unity.
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