2 popes meet: Egyptian Copt and Pope Francis

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Two popes are praying together at the Vatican, one Catholic and one Orthodox.

The head of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt, Pope Tawadros II, called on Pope Francis on Friday in the first such meeting in 40 years.


I am happy they are talking and hopefully can start towards the path of unity, but Tawadros II is not a pope. Christ only appointed one Pope to be the head of HIS Church. God Bless, Memaw

Of course he is a pope. The title pope is not unique to the bishop of Rome. The bishops at Alexandria were called pope before the bishops of Rome were.

Now the position of the Coptic pope is not analogous to that of the Roman Pope, in that he is not understood (even according to Coptic Orthodox teaching) to be the head of the universal church, but again, the title pope is not unique to the Pope of Rome.

"Pope" is a Latin term meaning “holy father” It is understandable that the bishop of Rome would be called Pope since he is in the Latin rite.

Why would the Coptic(Egyptian) Patriarch go by a Latin term for holy father and not one in their Language?

I’ve never heard of any Patriarch being called *Pope *other then the Patriarch of the west until now. Is this being used only in the western media to show us his status in the Coptic church? To give us a reference point? Or do the Coptic Christians actually call him by the Latin term 'Pope"?

I’ve been wondering this for the past few weeks since I started seeing news stories about him.


In his speech to Pope Francis, Tawadros proposed that May 10th each year should be marked as a day of celebration between the two communities. He also invited the successor of St Peter to visit his Church, founded by St Mark the Evangelist around the middle of the 1st century.

From Pope Francis

“If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honoured, all rejoice together” (1 Cor 12:26). This is a law of the Christian life, and in this sense we can say that there is also an ecumenism of suffering: just as the blood of the martyrs was a seed of strength and fertility for the Church, so too the sharing of daily sufferings can become an effective instrument of unity. And this also applies, in a certain sense, to the broader context of society and relations between Christians and non-Christians: from shared suffering can blossom forth forgiveness and reconciliation, with God’s help.
Your Holiness, in assuring you of my prayers that the whole flock entrusted to your pastoral care may be ever faithful to the Lord’s call, I invoke the protection of both Saint Peter and Saint Mark: may they who during their lifetime worked together in practical ways for the spread of the Gospel, intercede for us and accompany the journey of our Churches.

The Latin term does not specifically mean “holy father”; rather, it simply means “father.” Furthermore, the Latin term “papa” derives from the Greek “pappas,” The use of the term “pope” to refer to certainly patriarchs is actually quite ancient; it is by no means unique to the office of the Pope of Rome.

As pointed out Tawadros II is most certainly a pope, you are attempting to cast his role according to the paradigm we as Catholics view the title by. As pointed out that is not the only way the term may be used. I certainly do not think unity would be achieved in any great hurry were Pope Francis to take the approach quoted above, not that I believe he would for a moment.

Do the the coptic christians call him pope? or is it the media thats doing it?

Do the the coptic christians call him pope? or is it the media thats doing it?


The Coptic Orthodox call him al Baba (the Father) in Arabic: ‏البابا تواضروس الثاني

God bless,


O.K. so in my opinion it’s not really appropriate to call him Pope.



There’s nothing wrong with it at all. “Pope” is not, nor has it ever been, unique to the Bishop of Rome. The English (not Latin) word “pope” is the translation of the term that was once used to refer to virtually all bishops (“pappas” in Greek and “papa” in Latin). The first recorded use of the title was with respect to the bishop of Alexandria, the see which is currently held by the Coptic Orthodox pope. Eventually, its use was narrowed to a few sees. Alexandria is one of the sees that never dropped the use of that title.

This term is the equivalent of the Latin papa, which we translate as pope in English.

It does sound like “2 popes” is really just a media gimmick though. It might be technically okay to call them both popes, but it really smells of a media stunt to get attention.

And it worked.

As has been pointed out, ‘Al baba’ is the exact equivalent of il Papa - Pope in Italian.

As an aside - dang, doesn’t it make you wish the two had somehow managed to meet up with Benedict at the same time? Maximum Pope power!!!

This term is the equivalent of the Latin papa, which we translate as pope in English.

As has been pointed out, ‘Al baba’ is the exact equivalent of il Papa - Pope in Italian.

RyanBlack and LilyM,

Yes, that’s true. :slight_smile:

God bless,


Titles a little generic for my taste. It’d be more accurate to say “a” pope meeting “THE” Pope.

And a little like wishing they were equal in authority which they aren’t. Like I said before, Christ only appointed one man, to be the head of HIS Catholic Church, And that man is our dear Pope Francis, successor of St.Peter. We pray for the unity of all Christians just as Jesus prayed that all would be one in Him. One Faith, One Church. God Bless, Memaw

That would be incorrect though. The Patriarch of Alexandria has been known as Pope far longer than the Bishop of Rome.

That may be but he is still not the rock upon which Christ built His Church. St. Peter being chief among the Apostles went to Rome and that is where “THE” Pope sits.

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