AFRICA/EGYPT - The Patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox: may the Churches unify the dates for the Easter celebration

Monday, 10 November 2014

Vienna (Agenzia Fides) - A new appeal to all Christian Churches so that they celebrate the solemnity of Easter on the same date has been launched by the Coptic Orthodox Patriarch, Tawadros II. According to what Agenzia Fides learns, the Primate of the Christian Church, which is numerically higher among those present in Arab Countries, relaunched the issue yesterday, Sunday, November 9, during his speech in Vienna to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Pro-East Foundation. The body was in fact founded in 1964 by Austrian Cardinal Franz Koenig as a tool to facilitate full communion between the Catholic and non-Catholic Churches of the East.
The celebrations for the jubilee anniversary, hosted in Vienna by the Cardinal Archbishop Christoph Schoenborn, was also attended by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, and Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity.
The concern in unifying the date of the Easter celebration had already been expressed by the Coptic Patriarch in a letter sent last May to Pope Francis, on the occasion of the first anniversary of their meeting at the Vatican (see Fides 07/05/2014). The unification of the dates of the Easter celebration is especially wanted in North Africa and the Middle East, where in the same area churches and Christian communities coexist which have different dates for Easter, because one follows the Julian calendar and the other the Gregorian. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 10/11/2014)