Houston: HH Pope Tawadros II, the Pope of Alexandria and the Patriarch of the See of St. Mark, visited Houston on Monday during his tight pastoral tour.
Representing the Malankara Orthodox Church, Alexios Mar Eusebius, the Metropolitan of the Diocese of South-West America, Houston area Clergies and lay leaders attended the Houston met the Pope..
Pope Tawadros is the leader of the 16 million-member Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt. During the US tour HH will visit about 1 million believers in the United States of his dioceses.
The 62-year-old Tawadros, born Wagih Subhi Baqi Sulayman in the Egyptian city of Mansoura, was installed as the church’s 118th pope in 2012. Following its founding to the apostle St. Mark in the first century, the church split from the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches in 450 AD.
In 2013, Tawadros became the second Coptic pope to call a sitting Roman Catholic Bishop of Rome in the Vatican.
The Coptic pontiff offered a sermon and prayer service at Bellaire’s St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church in Houston.
The Coptic Orthodox Church and the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church are sister churches, belonging to the family of Oriental Orthodox Churches. The Coptic pontiff and Mar Eusebius exchanged gifts and talk about ecumenical cooperation among local parishes of the ancient churches.
Cor-episcopos Geevarghese Aroopala, Fr. Varghese Thomas, Fr. Mathews George Diocesan Council member, Diocesan PRO Yeldho Peter and other lay leaders joined the Metropolitan during the visit.
News sent in: Yeldho Peter