During his visit to Rome to commemorate the 1973 meeting between Paul VI and Shenouda III, His Holiness Pope Tawadros II presided over the Eucharistic Liturgy in the Basilica of St. John Lateran on Sunday, May 14. The liturgy was concelebrated by members of his delegation and the clergy of the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Rome and Southern Italy, with the participation of a large number of Coptic Orthodox faithful. On the previous evening, Saturday, May 13, Pope Tawadros delivered a catechesis on Christian unity to the Orthodox faithful in a Basilica filled to capacity.
Upon his arrival at the Basilica, Pope Tawadros was greeted by His Eminence Angelo Di Donatis, Cardinal Vicar of Rome. For his part, H.E. Bishop Brian Farrell, Secretary of the Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity, extended words of welcome to His Holiness, the delegation and all the Coptic Orthodox faithful. He shared that "this visit of Pope Tawadros has been a blessing for the Church of Rome and will undoubtedly be remembered as a historic moment in the relations between the Catholic Church and the Coptic Orthodox Church".
Noting that "today, for the first time, the Patriarch of the See of St. Mark celebrates the Eucharistic liturgy in the Coptic rite in this illustrious Basilica of St. John Lateran," Msgr Farrell expressed the hope that this liturgy "may also remind us that the temple of stones that brings us together is symbolic of the one Church that Christians are called to build: the 'spiritual edifice' built by God with the 'living stones' who are Christians, on the one foundation of the 'cornerstone', Jesus Christ (1 Pt 2:4-8).