Both the Coptic Church and the Catholic Church have chosen new leaders in the past year, and now Coptic Pope Tawadros II has told the Vatican Ambassador to Egypt that he will visit his new Catholic counterpart, Pope Francis, at the Vatican soon.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the late Pope Shenouda III's 1973 visit to Pope Paul VI at the Vatican, which marked the first direct meeting between the Roman and Alexandrian Popes since prior to the Council of Chalcedon in 451AD. Pope Paul VI had earlier repatriated a relic of Saint Mark from Venice to Egypt on the occasion of the dedication of the new Coptic Cathedral in Abbasiyya in 1968, as a gesture to Shenouda's predecessor, Pope Cyril VI. Subsequently, in 2000, the late Pope John Paul II visited Egypt and met with Shenouda prior to making a pilgrimage to Mount Sinai and the Holy Land. The two churches have also maintained an ecumenical dialogue at lower levels.