AFRICA/EGYPT - For health reasons: Patriarch Tawadros suspends public audiences

Friday, 9 June 2023 ecumenicalism   pope francis   oriental churches  

Vatican Media

Cairo (Agenzia Fides) - Like Pope Francis, the Coptic Orthodox Patriarch Tawadros II has had to suspend public audiences and pastoral activities in recent days for health reasons. In the case of Pope Tawadros, the health emergency stems from an inflammation of a facial nerve, the symptoms of which have been manifested since Sunday June 4, according to an official statement from the Coptic Orthodox Church.
After the necessary hospital tests, the Patriarch - as reported by Father Musa Ibrahim, spokesman for the Patriarchate - is spending a period of rest at the monastery of Deir Mar Mina, assisted by doctors. Recent information about his health status confirms that Pope Tawadros has not completely suspended his activities, which is a sign "that he is doing well and his condition is stable".
In the past, the Egyptian media have reported on various health problems (particularly diabetes and back problems) that Pope Tawadros, born in 1952, has been struggling with in recent years.
In recent weeks, Patriarch Tawadros has had numerous commitments that seem to have caused stress from physical exertion. After visits to Rome and Milan, followed by meetings with Pope Francis, which included his participation in the general audience in St. Peter's Square on Wednesday May 10 (see photo) and by various liturgies celebrated for the Coptic communities present in Italy, the Patriarch, shortly after his return to Egypt, the sessions of the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church began, which lasted a whole week. Then Pope Tawadros presided over the solemn liturgies on the occasion of the Feast of the Entry of the Holy Family into Egypt (June 1) and the Coptic Pentecost (June 4). (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 9/6/2023)