In his address, His Holiness Pope Tawadros welcomed his “beloved brother Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II, and the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch”. He expressed his happiness to see the Church of Christ keeping the Orthodox faith in the Middle East and all over the world. He added: “We welcome Your Holiness as a beloved brother and dear friend and successor of the Patriarchs who held the flame of faith and kept through generations, in the Syriac Orthodox Church, which offered a big number of martyrs”. His Holiness assured his continuous prayer for the peace in Syria and for the release of the two abducted archbishops of Aleppo Mor Gregorius Youhanna Ibrahim and Boulos Yaziji.
His Holiness Pope Tawadros II also welcomed His Holiness Mor Ignatius Aphrem II in “Egypt, the land which you love”, and recalled his visit to our Syriac Orthodox Church last June, and his participation in the inauguration of the Patriarchal Residence in Atchaneh, and the consecration of St. Severus the Great Church, as well his bringing with him part of the relics of the great Saint to be kept in the church.
His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II, in his address, expressed his great joy to “be at home, for I am not a stranger in Egypt, and I thank the Lord Who gave me the opportunity to meet once again my dear brother His Holiness Pope II and their Eminences Archbishops of Sister Coptic Church”. His Holiness recalled his years of studies he spent in Egypt, and expressed his happiness to meet the seminarians once again.
His Holiness also noted that his visit to Egypt aims at completing the workshops about Antioch Syrian University.
His Holiness wished to more frequently meet His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, however “the hardships and challenges the Church is facing in the Middle East has prevented us from this previously”. He prayed for the relation between the two sister Churches: Syriac and Coptic Orthodox Churches; he added “our mission is to live on this earth and continue to be witnesses to our Lord Jesus Christ”.
His Holiness was accompanied by His Eminence Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar in the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus and in Egypt, as well as Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director, Very Rev. Raban Philippos Issa, Parish Priest in Egypt, and Mr. Elias Shahrastan, Head of Parish Council of our Church in Egypt.
Their Eminences: Anba Daniel, Diocesan Bishop of the Holy Diocese of Maadi & El-Basateen, Anba Youlyous, Assistant Bishop for the Patriarchal Suffragan Holy Diocese of Old Cairo, Manial and Fum El Khalig in the Holy Archdiocese of Cairo and assistant to the Pope and Administrator of the Bishopric of Social Services, Anba Klemandos, Assistant Bishop for the Patriarchal Suffragan Holy Diocese of El-Hagana & Almaza in the Holy Archdiocese of Cairo, Anba Saweros, General Bishop and Administrator for New Monasteries, Dr. Gerges Saleh, the ecumenical representative of the Coptic Orthodox Church, and the Seminarians of the Coptic Orthodox Church, were also present