Pope Benedict XVI
Pope of the Catholic Church
First of all I would like to exchange the brotherly love in the person of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in the hope that your person might enjoy peace of spirit and mind and health and strength of body. We have learned of your desire to leave your position as Bishop of the Catholic Church. Our hearts have been hit by this unexpected decision, but at the same time we trust in your wise person and your good conscience before God, as also in your humility and zeal for the Holy Church of God redeemed by the precious blood of Christ on the Holy Wood of the Cross. I am certain that this decision has been reached after prayers, fasting and supplication made from your heart brimful with God’s Spirit. He has guided you in what you do.
The Coptic Orthodox Church looks upon you as a figure of great spiritual stature in theology, the unity and in the testimony to Christ, [and appreciates] your interest in the theological dialogues that draw the Churches closer together. We have clearly felt the closeness of Your Holiness to our Church and to its spirituality and we shall never forget the declarations and your reaction in support of the oriental Churches in the moments of deep sorrow of our recent history.
We pray for you, that the Lord Jesus Christ may give you health, strength and a long life, as we lift our hearts in prayer invoking the intercession of the Holy and Pure Virgin Mary, Mother of God, and all the Saints, that God’s Holy Spirit might guide the Catholic Church in the choice of its new spiritual leader, on the same path covered by the Fathers, for the heavenly reward.
To Him all honour and glory and prostration, now and always until the end of time.
Cairo – Papal Residence, 25 February 2013
Pope Tawadros II
Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the Preaching of Saint Mark