John Anton (OCP Delegate & Special Corespondent in Cairo)
OCP News Service – 10/01/2015
Cairo: Patriarch Abune Mathias of Ethiopia (Sixth Patriarch and Catholicos of Ethiopia – Archbishop of Axum and Ichege of the See of Saint Taklehaimanot) arrived in Cairo on 10th Saturdays January 2015. The high level Ethiopian Orthodox delegation was given a warm welcome at the Coptic Papal residence in Cairo. Patriarch Abune Mathias was cordially received by Pope Tawadros II (118th Pope of Alexandria & Patriarch of All Africa on the Holy See of St. Mark the Evangelist of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria). During the meeting the Patriarch’s highlighted the historical relationship between the two ancient churches of the Oriental Orthodox family. Ethiopian and Coptic Orthodox Choir services sang traditional Orthodox hyms and recited prayers for the occasion.
Both hierarchs will have detailed discussions on the relationship between their churches as well as on the dam project undertaken by Ethiopia in the Nile River. Both Churches have played significant role in the negotiations between both countries regarding the Grand Renaissance Dam Ethiopia is building on the Blue Nile.
This is the first apostolic visit of Abune Mathias to Ethiopia.
These two Ancient Churches of the Oriental Orthodox family has historic relation between them. The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church was ruled by the Coptic Patriarch until the 20th century. The Autocephalous status was granted by the Alexandrian Papacy to the Church of Ethiopia in 1959.
OCP News Service