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Thursday, February 5, 2009

Pope Shenouda Greets Anglican Primates

Following a private meeting with the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams, His Holiness Pope Shenouda III, the Coptic Pope, received the Primates of the Anglican Communion at the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate in Alexandria on Saturday evening, 31 January. The Anglican Primates are meeting in Alexandria in the latest of their series of regular meetings.

In thanking Pope Shenouda for his warm welcome and hospitality the Archbishop of Canterbury drew attention to the significance of meeting together in the city where many of the universal doctrines of the Christian faith were formed and where the seeds of the Christian monastic movement had been sown in the fourth century.

Pope Shenouda welcomed the Primates. Bishops, he said, had a special responsibility to guide their people in the path of holiness. Engaging with the young was particularly important. The Coptic Church in Cairo alone was providing Sunday school education to between 30 and 40,000 children. He also gave an account of the resurgence of the Coptic monasteries in Egypt. There were more than twenty communities with over 100 monks each.

Bishop Mouneer Anis, Anglican bishop in Egypt and Primate of the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East thanked Pope Shenouda for his generosity and paid tribute to his extraordinary teaching ministry based at the Coptic Cathedral in Cairo.

Source: Anglican Communion Official Website

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Here's more on the Primates Meeting:

Katherine J. Schori will miss the opening day of the gathering, but will be present for the start of the business sessions on Feb 2. Departing from the Executive Council meeting in California on the evening of Jan 31, Bishop Schori is scheduled to arrive in Egypt in the early morning hours of Feb 2.

The four primates who boycotted the Lambeth Conference: the Most Rev Peter Akinola of Nigeria, the Most Rev Emmanuel Kolini of Rwanda, the Most Rev Benjamin Nzimbi of Kenya, and the Most Rev Henry Orombi of Uganda will be present for the gathering.

Ten new primates have been elected since the 2007 meeting, and seven will be on hand: the Rt Rev Paul Sishkir Sarkar of Bangladesh, the Most Rev Fred Hiltz of Canada the Most Rev Paul Kwong of Hong Kong, the Most Rev Stephen Than Myint Oo of Myanmar, the Most Rev David Moxon of New Zealand, the Most Rev Thabo Makgoba of Southern Africa and Archbishop Deng of the Sudan.

Symbolic of the Anglican ennui is the absence of many outside lobbyists from Alexandria . Unlike past gatherings, few of the Communion’s advocacy groups are present, and at the start of the Conference only a handful of journalists have been accredited.

On Feb 2 the primates will hold their first full working day, with sessions devoted the Anglican Covenant, the crisis in Zimbabwe, and to presentations from several primates on the question: “What impact has the current situation had on your province’s Mission priorities.”
Read George Conger's full report here.

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