The Patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church Tawadros II sent a letter to Pope Francis in which the Egyptian Christian leader suggested a common date for a common date for the observance of Easter, the Pascha or Resurrection of Jesus Christ. According to the Fides news service, a spokesman of the Coptic Orthodox Church said that a letter from the Patriarch was received by the papal diplomatic representative in Cairo on May 6. Monsignor Paul Gobel, the papal nuncio, received the letter during a visit to the headquarters of the Patriarchate.
Likewise, Monsignor Gobel presented an invitation from Pope Francis to Patriarch to attend the October 2014 Assembly of the Synod of Catholic Bishops. The theme of the assembly is the family.
The settling of a common, worldwide date for the celebration of Easter is particularly urgent in parts of the world, such as the Mideast and North Africa, where various Christian churches have coexisted for centuries. While the 2014 observance of Easter fell on the same date for Catholic and Orthodox churches, usually their are days or weeks apart due to the fact that some calculate the date according to the Julian calendar and others to the Gregorian.
Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. He is also a freelance translator.