The Coptic Orthodox leader, His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, visited the Diocese of Meath today, Friday May 19.
It is the first time that Pope Tawadros, Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of Saint Mark, has visited Ireland as head of the Coptic Orthodox Church, whose membership remains predominantly in Egypt.
Last month, Pope Francis visited Cairo at the invitation of Pope Tawadros and the Egyptian government.
Fr William Coleman and Fr Paul Crosbie, representing Bishop Michael Smith, were present when His Holiness blessed and dedicated a new Chapel at St George Abbey, a Coptic Orthodox community established in Billistown, near Delvin, a few years ago.
Prior to the Liturgy, His Holiness received Fr Coleman and Fr Crosbie in audience, during which the persecution of Christians in the Middle East and other matters were discussed.
Before arriving in Ireland, Pope Tawadros completed a visit to the UK, where he went to Coptic Orthodox parishes, officiated at liturgical services and attended a number of ecumenical, interfaith and civic events.