LETTER OF HIS HOLINESS POPE BENEDICT XVI
TO THE NEWLY ELECTED PATRIARCH OF ALEXANDRIA FOR COPTS
FOR THE CONCESSION OF THE ECCLESIASTICA COMMUNIO
To His Beatitude
Ibrahim Isaac Sidrak
Patriarch of Alexandria for Copts
Your Beatitude’s election to the Patriarchal See of Alexandria for Copts is an important event for the whole Church and I receive your request for ecclesiastical communion with joy, giving thanks to Almighty God.
I address my warm congratulations to you, together with my fervent prayers raised to Christ, that he may accompany you in the accomplishment of this new office.
I wholeheartedly accept your request for ecclesiastical communion which I grant to you in conformity with the custom and the wishes of the Catholic Church. I am sure, Your Beatitude, that with the power of Christ, Conqueror of evil and death through his Resurrection, and with the collaboration of the Fathers of your Patriarchal Synod, in communion with the College of Bishops, that you will have the strength to guide the Coptic Church. Illuminated by the preaching of St Mark the Evangelist and accompanied by the procession of the Church’s saints, led by St Anthony, she will be able to go to the encounter with her Bridegroom, our Saviour.
May the Lord help you in your ministry as “Father and Head” to proclaim the Word of God so that it may be lived and celebrated with devotion, in accordance with the ancient spiritual and liturgical traditions of the Coptic Church! May all your faithful find comfort in the fatherly solicitude of their new Patriarch!
Your Beatitude, I address my most brotherly greetings to you, as well as to your venerable predecessor, H.B. Cardinal Antonios Naguib, and to the members of the Synod, as I impart to you the Apostolic Blessing which I willingly extend to the bishops, priests, men and women religious and the faithful of the whole Patriarchal Church.
From the Vatican, 18 January
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