Pope Francis expresses spiritual closeness to the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church

4 Nov 2019

Abuna Matthias Tewahedo Church 29 Feb 2019 Pope Francis with Patriarch Abuna Matthias in 2016

After the Angelus on Sunday 3 November, Pope Francis expressed his spiritual closeness to the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, asking the faithful gathered in Saint Peter’s Square to pray for the victims of recent violence in Ethiopia. “Dear brothers and sisters, I am grieved by the violence of which the Christians of the Ethiopian Tewahedo Church are victims. I express my closeness to this Church and its Patriarch, dear brother Abuna Matthias, and I ask you to pray for all the victims of violence in that land”.

The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church is a member the International Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches. In his address to His Holiness Abuna Matthias during the visit of the Patriarch to Pope Francis in 2016, the Holy Father affirmed: “Shared sufferings have enabled Christians, otherwise divided in so many ways, to grow closer to one another. Just as in the early Church the shedding of the blood of martyrs became the seed of new Christians, so today the blood of the many martyrs of all the Churches has become the seed of Christian unity. The martyrs and saints of all the ecclesial traditions are already one in Christ."

Photo © Servizio Fotografico - Vatican Media