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1971: Coptic Pope Enthroned

1971: Coptic Pope Enthroned
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  • historical event: Most Catholics are unaware that the pope is not the only person in the world who holds the title of Pope. Coptic Pope Shenouda III was enthroned on this day as the 117th consecutive Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria.

Most Catholics are unaware that the pope is not the only person in the world who holds the title of Pope. Coptic Pope Shenouda III was enthroned on this day as the 117th consecutive Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria.

On this day the well-known Coptic Pope Shenouda III was enthroned as the 117th consecutive Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria. Copts Egyptian Christians, who likely originate from the 1st century AD. One of the most famous Copts is certainly Boutros Boutros-Ghali, former Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Copts call their religious leader Pope. His full title is actually Pope of Alexandria and the Patriarch of All Africa on the Holy Apostolic See of Saint Mark the Evangelist. It is assumed that there are up to 18,000,000 Copts today, so that they make up the largest Christian group in Egypt. The seat of the Coptic Pope is in Cairo.

Pope Shenouda III, who was enthroned on this day, was respected and known worldwide for his ecumenical efforts. He arbitrated for dialogue between Christians of different denominations. Already in the first year of his term he visited Pope Paul VI (who today has the status of Servant of God). It was the first meeting between the two popes since the religious rift after the Council of Chalcedon in 451. Coptic Pope Shenouda III traveled a lot and visited the United States, Canada and Europe, and was even in distant Australia six times.

In the year 2000 Roman Pope Saint John Paul II met with Coptic Pope Shenouda III in Cairo. Shenouda III died in 2012, and his death caused great sorrow in the world. Messages of condolence were sent to Copts by Pope Benedict XVI, as well as U.S. President Barack Obama.

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