CAIRO: Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria and Patriarch of St. Mark See will visit Ethiopia Saturday to celebrate the Feast of The Holy Cross, Al Masry Al Youm reported Thursday.
During the visit, scheduled to last for six days, the Pope will meet with Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church Abune Mathias I and will visit the Holy Trinity Cathedral in addition to a number of Ethiopian monasteries and museums, including the National Museum and the Patriarchal Museum, Ethiopian Ambassador to Egypt Mahmoud Dirir told Al Masry Al Youm.
The visit comes more than nine months after a high-level delegation of Ethiopian clergymen headed by the Patriarch Mathias I visited Egypt during the Coptic Christmas celebrations in January, spokesman for the Coptic Orthodox Church said in his Facebook page Wednesday.
According to Dirir, Pope Tawadros II will lead a mass at the Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion located in Ethiopia’s northern town of Axum.
The visit coincides with ongoing negotiations on the Grand Renaissance Dam which has caused tension in the relations between Egypt and Ethiopia.
Dirir stressed that the relationship between the two Churches plays an important role in consolidating relations between the two countries and that it aims at emphasizing the depth of historical ties between Egypt and Ethiopia.
The Ethiopian Orthodox Church was judicially related to the Coptic Patriarchate of Alexandria in until 1959 before it was considered as autocephalous Church by the Coptic Patriarch Cyril VI, Islamic and Coptic history Professor Fathy Khourshid previously told The Cairo Post.
The Holy Cross festival, also known as Maskel, is celebrated across Ethiopia on Sept. 27 to commemorate the unearthing of the True Holy Cross of Christ, said Khourshid.