“I wish to congratulate Bishop Tawadros on being chosen as the new leader of Egypt’s ancient Coptic Orthodox Church, becoming the 118th Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of All Africa in the Holy See of St. Mark the Apostle.
“In a traditional ceremony at St. Mark’s Cathedral in Cairo yesterday, Bishop Tawadros’s name was selected from a crystal chalice containing the names of three short-listed candidates. He succeeds Pope Shenouda III, whom I had the great honour to meet in person, as the spiritual leader of the largest Christian minority in the Middle East, at a challenging and uncertain time for Coptic Christians in Egypt.
“As patriarch, the Pope will provide leadership for the global Coptic Church, will be responsible for protecting the ancient Coptic religious, ritual and cultural patrimony, and will be able to deepen and strengthen ecumenical relations with sister churches throughout the Catholic and Orthodox world. He will also bear the great responsibility of encouraging and protecting the Coptic minority in Egypt as they face ever-increasing threats and persecution.
“As Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, and on behalf of the Government of Canada, I extend my best wishes to Bishop Tawadros as he prepares to assume these heavy responsibilities at his enthronement on November 18 and I offer my heartfelt congratulations to the Coptic community in Canada.”
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