Lets Build Relationships - Meeting With Pope Tawadros, Head of the Coptic Orthodox Church

Olivier Fleury and Martin Hoegger were received on March 25, 2019, by Pope Tawadros to present to him the vision of a decade of the resurrection to prepare the jubilee of 2033: the 2000 years of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. They were accompanied by the leaders of the Focolare Movement in Egypt.

"How can the churches be together on this occasion," O. Fleury asked."This jubilee must be celebrated and we must celebrate together!"

To this question, the Pope replied that it would be necessary for the Council of Churches of Egypt to think about it. A special commission should also be created to make concrete proposals.

Regarding the problem of the different Easter dates between Orthodox and other churches, Tawadros wrote a letter to Pope Francis proposing to unify it. Research has also been done by the churches, but for the moment there are no plans to change things.

On the other hand, he invited us to think about how to live Easter together in the years when the date will be common before 2033; 2025, 2028 and 2031

For him, the unity of the churches must be centred on Christ. To explain it to us he shows us his cross with its four branches. The lower branch represents relationships; it is the longest, therefore the most important. The second represents studies, the third dialogue and the fourth prayer.

"Only by holding together these four branches will we reach the heart of Jesus and experience the unity of all Christians. We have made the mistake of starting the dialogue without studying and without building relationships in love. We have to start building relationships with all churches, without exception, "he says.

At the end of the meeting he gave each person present a Coptic icon of the holy family, Mary and Jesus on a donkey led by Joseph fleeing to Egypt, and he invited us to pray for Egypt. 

Martin Hoegger

Main Image - Olivier Fleury, Martin Hoegger,Pope Tawadros and the leaders of the Focalore movement