Coptic orthodox dating
It comes forty-four years after Pope Paul VI first met with the previous Coptic Pope Shenouda III in May 1973.
That encounter marked a milestone in relations, following centuries of separation, and it led to the setting up of a Commission for theological dialogue with the whole family of Oriental Orthodox Churches.
Catholics and Copts, it says, can witness together to the shared values of human life, the sacredness of marriage and the family, and respect for creation.
The declaration calls for intensified prayers for all Christians who are persecuted and killed for their faith, especially in Egypt and the Middle East.
When Christians pray together, they come to realize that what unites them is much greater than what divides them.
Our longing for unity receives its inspiration from the prayer of Christ “that all may be one” (Jn ).
In that Declaration, our Churches acknowledged that, in line with the apostolic tradition, they profess “one faith in the One Triune God” and “the divinity of the Only-begotten Son of God ...
perfect God with respect to his divinity, perfect man with respect to his humanity”.
Most of the relations which existed in the early centuries between the Catholic Church and the Coptic Orthodox Church have continued to the present day in spite of divisions, and have recently been revitalized.
Since we believe that all human beings are created in the image of God, we strive for serenity and concord through a peaceful co-existence of Christians and Muslims, thus bearing witness to God’s desire for the unity and harmony of the entire human family and the equal dignity of each human being.
We share a concern for the welfare and the future of Egypt.
In the face of many contemporary challenges such as secularization and the globalization of indifference, we are called to offer a shared response based on the values of the Gospel and the treasures of our respective traditions.
In this regard, we are encouraged to engage in a deeper study of the Oriental and Latin Fathers, and to promote a fruitful exchange in pastoral life, especially in catechesis, and in mutual spiritual enrichment between monastic and religious communities. Our shared Christian witness is a grace-filled sign of reconciliation and hope for Egyptian society and its institutions, a seed planted to bear fruit in justice and peace.