New Coptic Catholic leader receives Pope's approval

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Vatican City, Jan 18, 2013 / 03:00 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Benedict XVI approved Bishop Ibrahim Isaac Sidrak as the new Patriarch of Alexandria of the Copts in Egypt, granting him "ecclesiastical communion.’’

The former Bishop of Minya was elected during a Synod of Bishops of the Coptic Catholic Church in Cairo, which lasted from Jan. 12 to16. As part of the election, his rank was raised to archbishop.

The 57-year-old will replace Cardinal Antonio Naguib, aged 77, who resigned on Jan. 18 after suffering from partial paralysis and undergoing brain surgery.

The Vatican hopes his appointment will see more collaboration with Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II, who began his patriarchal ministry in Egypt just two months ago.

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